Our society pays medical professionals such as doctors a premium because extensive education is required to pursue their chosen professions. People put faith in their doctors and assume he or she will properly diagnose and administer the treatment they need when they have an illness or an injury impacting their quality of life or health.
While doctors generally do make every effort to provide their patients with a high standard of care, they to are prone to mistakes just like any other human. After all, they work long shifts, see hundreds of cases for any given month and may be under pressure to maximize how much revenue they generate for the practice that employs them.
Medical malpractice can impact anyone who needs medical care. Knowing some of the more common medical mistakes can help you better advocate for yourself as a patient.
Wrong diagnosis or failure to diagnose
Diagnostic services are among the most crucial services medical professionals provide to the public. A cough could be the result of a seasonal viral infection, or it could be a warning sign of a compromised immune system or even the growth of a tumor.
Getting the right diagnosis quickly helps people receive the treatment they need to reduce their symptoms and fix the underlying cause. When a doctor makes mistakes in the diagnostic process, patients can suffer because they receive unnecessary treatments, go without treatment that they do need or stop seeking medical care because they think their symptoms don’t justify it.
Mistakes with the administration or recommendation of drugs
Modern prescription medications can help with everything from neuropathy to extreme, unmanaged pain. People may have different reactions to the same medication, so physicians should be careful about which medication they recommend and follow up to monitor how a patient reacts to it.
Prescribing a drug that has a negative interaction with another medication the patient takes, administering a drug a patient is allergic to or using a drug for an off-label purpose not approved by the Food and Drug Administration are all examples of medication errors that could have catastrophic consequences for patients.
Other common mistakes
There are an infinite number of potential mistakes that can occur in a medical setting, but other common risks include inadequate record-keeping or communication between people involved in a patient’s care, never events which involve significant errors, infections caused by inadequate sanitation of facilities and supplies, machinery errors due to inadequate maintenance or improper use and even ignoring a patient’s symptoms or concerns.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, make sure to contact an experienced quickly to explore your options.