Getting sick or seriously injured is one of the scariest things that can happen to us. During those times, we put our trust in physicians and surgeons to help us recover. We don’t expect those medical professionals to turn around and make us even sicker, or worse, cause our death.
Unfortunately, according to one study, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. If you feel like something isn’t right about your treatment, then it’s possible that your physician or surgeon committed malpractice. But how can you know for sure?
Keep reading to learn about some common examples of medical malpractice.
You’re Not Getting Better
This issue can go a couple of different ways. In the first scenario, you visit your doctor for an issue that has been bothering you and he does an exam, but he fails to make a diagnosis. If your doctor says nothing is wrong, but you continue to experience the same or worsening issues, then your doctor may have committed medical malpractice.
Another scenario is if your doctor examined you and prescribed a course of treatment or surgery, and you complied will all the protocols of the treatment. If you’ve done everything on your part to complete the treatment as prescribed, but you’re still not getting better, then there may be medical malpractice involved.
The Operation Went Wrong
Botched operations are a huge concern anytime someone goes under the knife, and rightly so. If a surgery is overly complicated or rushed, or if it is negligently performed, patients wind up with sponges, surgical scissors, and even scalpels left inside their body. Many people aren’t aware of the error until the object starts to cause issues.
Other surgical errors include operating on the wrong body part or performing the wrong procedure on the patient, as well as nerve damage, punctured organs, and excessive bleeding.
Major Post-Op Issues
Many surgical errors take some time to show up. These include necropsy of the tissue at incision sites, MRSA infections, and plastic surgery procedures that fail over time. Other post-op issues include being released from the hospital too early, and lack of supervision by doctors and nursing staff to monitor your recovery.
When a doctor gives you a prescription, it’s fairly safe to assume that the medication is beneficial for you and will help you get better or live a better life. However, sometimes, the medication a doctor prescribes does exactly the opposite.
If your doctor has reason to know that you are allergic to a particular ingredient or medication, but still prescribes it to you, then that may be medical malpractice. This may be the case, too, if your doctor prescribes a controlled substance, like opioid pain relievers or anti-anxiety medication, and you have a history of drug abuse. Another issue with medication is that your doctor prescribes a medication that has a negative interaction with other medication you’re already taking.
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
Obtaining informed consent is one of the most important ethical duties a doctor or surgeon owes to his or her patients.
Informed consent is obtained when a doctor or surgeon presents a course of treatment or a surgery to you in order to help you recover from your ailments. Any time a doctor does this, he must disclose possible risks and complications that may occur should you choose to opt for a course of treatment or surgery.
For example, if your doctor tells you that you have cancer, and recommends chemotherapy and radiation as a treatment, then he must disclose side effects like hair loss and weakened immune system, as well as the relative likelihood of success. If the treatment has a 90 percent chance of success, then the side effects and risks may be worth it to you. But if the treatment has a very low chance of success, you may be less likely to pursue it.
But Don’t Forget Your Duties as a Patient
When a doctor prescribes a course of treatment to a patient, he expects that the patient will follow the treatment in the manner in which it was prescribed. If you fail to follow that course of treatment and suffer further injury or illness due to your lack of compliance, then it is unlikely that medical malpractice occurred.
For example, if your surgeon tells you to clean your surgical wound once per day, but you only clean it once a week and it gets infected, then that infection is most likely not attributable to medical malpractice.
If you’ve read through these signs of medical malpractice and believe that you may have suffered from medical malpractice, then there are some important steps you must take. The first step you should take is to contact an attorney with experience litigating medical malpractice claims as soon as possible.
Tennessee places a time limit on the filing of medical malpractice lawsuits. This is called the statute of limitations, and it describes the amount of time you have to file your case. In many instances, it is one year from the date of the injury, but there are exceptions and other factors that go into calculating the amount of time you have to file.
Once you have an attorney, they will be able to help you navigate a lawsuit or settlement with the physician.
Did You or a Loved One Suffer Due to Medical Malpractice?
No one ever expects to be a victim of medical malpractice, especially in today’s world of social media and online reviews. Unfortunately, even when you and your physician or surgeon have the best intentions, accidents happen. The best thing to do when you suspect medical malpractice is to contact an attorney who will give you the best chance of recovering financially from your injuries.
Are you looking for an attorney who will be a zealous advocate for you and your wellbeing? Look no further. Contact Cummings Law today for a free consultation about your case.
Tagged with: Medical Malpractice
Posted in: Medical Malpractice