Featured Image Caption: Hospitalized Patient
Doctors are human, and like anyone else, they can make mistakes. However, their mistakes can have grave consequences, up to and including death. That’s why there’s such a thing as medical malpractice. But how do you know when a mistake crosses the line from simple mistake to medical malpractice? Consider these common doctor’s errors that qualify as medical malpractice.
Prescription Drug Errors
Prescription drug errors can be seemingly harmless. For example, an error might simply result in simply you are taking a drug that is ineffective for your condition. However, these kinds of errors could also cause great harm, ranging from allergic reactions to death. These errors are also more than just prescribing the wrong drug for your condition.
Prescription drug errors can also include prescribing the wrong dosage (too little or too much), not recognizing that a drug being prescribed can interact with drugs you already take, and not recognizing the signs of abuse, addiction, or overdose.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
A misdiagnosis can happen when there are signs and symptoms common to more than one condition or when a condition presents in an unusual way. For a misdiagnosis to count as medical malpractice, you need proof that the doctor failed to diagnose or that they misdiagnosed something that any other doctor with their level of training and skill and the same knowledge would have diagnosed correctly.
A delayed diagnosis is when a doctor doesn’t treat you as thoroughly as they would another patient. Delayed diagnoses often result in a condition getting much worse than it would have otherwise. Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses tend to be the most common medical malpractice claims that a personal injury attorney works with.
Failure to Treat
Failure to treat is when a doctor fails to maintain the standards of care they acknowledge and accept when taking on patients. Failure to treat might look like releasing you from the hospital too soon, not providing instructions for follow-up care, not ordering appropriate medical tests, or not taking into account your medical history when prescribing medication or treatment. These aren’t the only things that are considered failure to treat, but they are some of the most common.
Anesthesia is a tricky thing. Without it, surgery is difficult and painful. With it, there is a risk of many complications, including the possibility of brain damage if too much anesthesia is administered. Anesthesia is so tricky that there’s a doctor specifically trained to handle it. Given the specialization, almost all anesthesia errors count as medical malpractice.
You may choose to pursue a medical malpractice for yourself or on behalf of a loved one who passed away due to a doctor’s error. If you do, know that medical malpractice cases fall under personal injury law. A personal injury attorney can advise you and help you ensure that the doctor is held responsible for their mistakes and that you get compensation.
While doctors are human and will make mistakes just like anyone else, they still need to be held accountable. If you’ve faced one of these mistakes, you should consider taking legal action. You’re not just standing up for yourself and your rights; you’re helping to protect others.
By Anita Ginsburg
who is a freelance writer and residing in Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. If you’re pursuing a medical malpractice case, a personal injury attorney like those at Yakov Mushiyev & Associates PC may be able to help.