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Top 4 Medical Malpractices that You Need to Be Aware Of

Jane (not her real name) was the ideal patient. She was always healthy, but on the eve of Christmas, she had what she thought was a headache and she took a few pills to take the pain away. The next morning, she noticed that the headache was getting worse, and she went to her doctor who diagnosed that she was suffering from a migraine, gave her a few pills to take and sent her home. A few days later the symptoms hadn’t abated, and a visit to the doctor came up with the same diagnosis. By now the pain was unbearable, and she decided to visit another doctor who confirmed that she had a growth in her brain that needed immediate attention.

Any more misdiagnosis and the growth might have been fatal.

This is one of the cases that happen for many patients who visit their doctors and end up with misdiagnosis.

Today we look at the different types of medical malpractices that you can experience, and what you need to do.



1. Misdiagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical malpractices the world over. The doctor examines you but in the end, fails to come up with the right diagnosis. At times, the condition might be evident, yet the doctor goes ahead to say that there is no discernible illness.

Another case of misdiagnosis is when the doctor fails to diagnose the patient with the condition that he is suffering from. This is the case in the above scenario, where the doctor failed to diagnose a growth and insisted on migraine.

However, you need to know that not all incorrect misdiagnoses qualify as medical malpractice. This occurs only if the doctor fails to do what other doctors would do in the same situation. This is when you need the skills of a medical malpractice attorney to tell you what to do next, that is whether you have a case or not.

2. Delayed Diagnosis

This is a form of malpractice that is nearly similar to misdiagnosis. In such a situation, the doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis in the beginning, but in the end, the doctor makes the right diagnosis.

The delayed diagnosis makes the condition to become worse for the patient because the patient doesn’t receive the proper treatment initially.

For your case to be termed a delayed diagnosis, the doctor needs to have assessed your case less competently than you expect him to do. For instance, the doctor might fail to call for a necessary test that might have led to a correct diagnosis, or the doctor might have failed to see the obvious signs of a condition on the X-rays or CT scans.

3. Surgical Errors

A surgical error can be termed a misdiagnosis when the surgeon performs the following:

a) Performing a procedure that wasn’t meant to be done in the first place.

b) Performing a surgical procedure the wrong way.

c) Performing a surgical procedure that ends up damaging the nerves, organs or tissues.

d) Administering the wrong dose of anesthesia.

e) Using surgical instruments that haven’t been sterilized correctly.

f) Forgetting medical equipment in the patient.

g) Providing inadequate post-surgical care.

Surgical errors are common, and when they occur, they affect your quality of life. Many doctors have argued that since the patient signed a consent form before the surgery, then anything ought to happen, but this is not the case because there are situations that have led to post-surgical complications, or even death of the patient.

Just because the doctor tells you that the operation has a high risk does not mean that he becomes careless and administers the wrong dose or performs a wrong surgical procedure.

4. Failure to Treat

At times, the doctor might arrive at the right diagnosis only for him to fail to recommend the adequate treatment. These situations can constitute malpractice that is termed as failure to treat.

Some doctors have too many patients that they put profit ahead of care. When this happens, the doctors aren’t so diligent about taking the right steps to treat the patient. For instance, lack of enough space in the treatment facility might make the doctor to release the patient too soon, or be too busy to provide proper follow-up care or fail to refer the patient to a specialist.

Final Words

Medical malpractice is common in various states, and when you know what it entails, you get to understand when to sue and when not to sue.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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