People sometimes make the mistake of assuming that a negative outcome to medical treatment means that medical malpractice has occurred. They have an ailment, they go to the doctor, and the treatment doesn’t alleviate the problem. Maybe the condition gets worse.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that malpractice has taken place. Doctors are not expected to be successful in 100% of their cases. What is expected is the doctors will not be negligent and that they will uphold a reasonable standard of care.
If they fail to do that, then they may be accused of malpractice when the negative outcome is a result of the negligence. Below are some examples of issues that could constitute malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose
- A missed diagnosis
- Premature discharge from a medical center
- Wrong-site surgery
- unnecessary surgery
- Carrying out the incorrect procedure
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dose of a correct medication
- Failing to follow up with the patient
- Not performing appropriate tests that most doctors would have used
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Making mistakes – during surgery, for instance – that leave a patient with persistent pain
Additionally, it can be medical malpractice when someone doesn’t get the care that they deserve after a medical procedure. This could lead to potentially fatal infections, bedsores or pressure ulcers, for example.
What options do you have?
When medical malpractice does take place, you may benefit from exploring your legal options to seek compensation. This effort can help to cover some of the costs stemming from the malpractice. For example, when items are retained after surgery, a second surgery may be necessary to remove them. This additional procedure can drastically increase medical bills, lost wages and many other costs. It can also lead to unnecessary pain and suffering.
It isn’t always easy to know when medical malpractice has occurred and when an unfavorable outcome occurred despite a care team’s professionally reasonable efforts. As a result, seeking legal guidance to better determine whether you have grounds upon which to file legal action if you have concerns is generally a good idea.