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Whenever you make a visit to the doctor’s office, you have to decide between options. You have to either go for surgery or entrust your health to some healthcare professional completely. You would obviously expect to have your needs met and certain levels of health benefits fulfilled.
Spending money on health isn’t easy, as even though it is a priority and a basic necessity, it still costs a lot. However, doctors don’t really promise to heal you completely, and they have no guarantees of any outcome.
Looking at the points above, we can say that doctors don’t guarantee outcomes, but they are bound to professional codes of conduct though. It is important to understand that if a medical provider ends up breaking a code of conduct, then this is referred to as medical malpractice.
Understanding what medical malpractice is
Medical malpractice basically occurs when the medical provider, i.e., the doctor, nurse, or the hospital, ends up causing an injury or some sort of damage to a patient. They might even start to dismiss the fact that the patient was hurt.
This leads to misdiagnosis, or maybe the patient is being treated differently than how he/she should be treated, which obviously has harmful after effects.
When patients go into the healthcare scenarios and trust a doctor with their well-being, then they obviously have some expectations of receiving better care and expect them to get better with time.
However, if medical malpractice occurs, there is a good chance that the patient might not be fully aware of it at that time.
A physician, psychiatrist, or any other healthcare provider has the potential or risk of diagnosing someone on the basis of medical malpractice. This is something that should be considered whenever someone goes to see a doctor, as you can never be too careful. There are many sorts of medical malpractices that might occur. Listed below are the major medical malpractices that occur commonly:
This is one of the major and most common medical malpractice that might occur due to the doctor’s negligence. The name itself explains how bad it can be for the patient, as misdiagnosing someone and treating them according to that diagnosis can worsen the health of the patient and cause severe circumstances.
The doctor’s negligence or lack of responsibility can result in such a major mistake, but it should be noted that as much as this is serious, it is still a commonly made mistake. Many doctors tend to show a lack of responsibility toward the patient’s symptoms and test them in the wrong way.
Sometimes, lack of responsibility might not be the only reason for misdiagnosis, but also lack of experience. If a doctor who isn’t as experienced as the other professional doctors takes charge of a patient, then he might make mistakes in reading the situation wrong.
2. Delayed diagnosis
This is another form of medical malpractice which occurs a lot nowadays. In this case, the physician basically makes the wrong diagnosis due to reading the test reports and symptoms wrong.
This leads to the incorrect diagnosis, but before any major step is taken, the doctor might figure out the actual health issue.
Even though the mistakes are recognized before any major damage, the delayed diagnosis might cause the health of the patient to deteriorate. The condition becomes worse due to delayed and poor treatment is obviously a major malpractice result.
3. Childbirth Injuries
This medical malpractice is one of the worst malpractices which can occur. Even though there are many ups and downs during childbirth, a mistake from the doctor’s side can create a huge mess in a sensitive issue like this one.
The malpractices might occur due to prenatal care being inadequate or negligence being shown towards the mother.
Moreover, during the birth, there might be a risk of common injuries and conditions, e.g., nerve damage might occur, or there might be a chance of brain injury, fractured bones, paralysis, or cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a common injury that is mainly caused due to lack of oxygen to the brain. However, any of these injuries being caused by the doctor’s negligence is a result of medical malpractice and can face major consequences.
4. Surgical mistakes
This is another common medical malpractice that might occur during an operation. These occur due to the surgeon or nurse being irresponsible and forgetful, and they might accidentally puncture an organ or blood vessel.
They might even end up operating on the wrong part of the body. The weirdest but also common mistake could be leaving surgical equipment inside the body, which has major and severe consequences.
5. Anesthesia errors
Anesthesia errors, in general, aren’t as common as the medical malpractices listed above. However, this is one of the highly critical errors. An anesthesiologist causing one small error or being negligent might lead to a permanent injury to the patient, cause brain damage, or even death.
Amongst the common mistakes made by the anesthesiologists are that they might not be able to explain the procedure and the requirements of the anesthesia to the patient and give the drug without giving such instructions.
Moreover, the anesthesia might be given at a later time and might be given in too less or too small a quantity, which can be dangerous to the patient.
The patient might also be kept under it for too long, or the anesthesiologist might fail to notice and understand the reactions of the patient to the anesthesia. One another reason can be improper regulation of oxygen.
If a doctor is responsible for any of these malpractices, then it is advised to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Summerville, SC.
It is important to understand that a doctor is legally responsible for any harm or damage the patient faces due to medical malpractice, as the doctor or the hospital involved is directly responsible for the quality care of the patient.
According to many malpractice lawyers, medical malpractice is considered so if the following factors are involved:
Poor standard of care
If the hospital or the doctor responsible for the patient’s care fails to provide the proper standard of care that is promised, then according to the laws of many states, the responsible people involved face accusations of negligence.
Injury due to negligence
If being irresponsible toward the patient has caused any damage or injury to the patient, that is when it is actually considered medical malpractice.
However, if there is no harm or injury to the patient, then the patient needs to somehow prove negligence, or else it isn’t considered medical malpractice.
Damaging consequences due to the injury
The patient is required to show any damage done to them or any harm due to the practice. The damages that can be considered include
- Enduring any hardship
- Constant pain
- Loss of income
Informed consent by the patient
It is important to understand that if a patient does not give his or her informed consent to any medical procedure, then the doctor or health care provider responsible for the patient will be liable in case the medical procedure harms or causes any damage to the patient, even if the procedure was carried out perfectly and by the book.
A surgeon is required to inform the patient of the procedure and give a detailed explanation of how it will work and what the procedure’s requirements are.
However, if a surgeon doesn’t adhere to this and doesn’t tell the patient of any risk of a procedure, then any damage would be the surgeon’s liability.
Importance of finding a medical malpractice attorney
After the consequences and results of medical malpractice, there is one thing important that should be done, and that is hiring a medical malpractice attorney.
If you or anyone you know has experienced harm due to any sort of medical malpractice, and you fall under the eligibility to sue for medical malpractice, then make sure you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
This attorney would be experienced enough to help you through the procedure and deal with the repercussions.
Effects of medical malpractice on the healthcare industry
Healthcare providers save a lot of lives on a daily basis, and they gain a lot of respect because of that.
However, if they are stained by the word ‘malpractice’ even once, their whole reputation is on the line, and even if their license to practice medicine isn’t compromised, they still wouldn’t be trusted by their patients.
The key issue in today’s healthcare system and care is that even with recognizing the malpractice and faults, it still has evolved and has become a controversy in today’s world.
It is important to understand that the effects of malpractice influence the doctors and hospitals as much as it affects the patient, if not more.
The healthcare providers are affected by these things to the point of no return, but the patient’s life is left at stake. Trust in the healthcare system seriously starts to decline.
Conclusively, medical malpractice has existed for a long time, but it goes unrecognized many times due to the patients being unaware of their health condition or not being given accurate details.
However, things have started to change rapidly, as people are becoming more aware of their health, and they keep a check on themselves.
The doctors who are in charge of the patients being irresponsible to neglect the state of the patient leads to many major circumstances and issues, and in the worst case, even death.