Medical malpractice is a serious issue that affects many people each year. It can create financial challenges for doctors and medical centers, and insurance does not always pay the full cost of medical malpractice expenses for professionals. These cases also can result in pain, suffering and more for patients and their families. Because of the stakes, many medical malpractice issues result in lawsuits. These are a few of the more common types of legal cases related to medical malpractice.
A wide range of surgical errors can be made in the operating room. For example, the wrong side of the body may be operated on, or a medical apparatus or supplies may be left inside the patient during the procedure. These issues are unfortunately common, and some of them result in the death of the patient. However, technology is being used to decrease the number of incidents. For example, doctors having access to digital files on patients before a procedure may decrease the likelihood that the wrong body part is operated on. Some doctors ask patients to initial the appropriate side of the body for the operation with a surgical pen before the patient receives anesthesia.
Medical misdiagnosis happens when doctors do not have access to all the facts needed to accurately make a diagnosis or when reports are erroneous. For example, approximately three-fourths of all medical malpractice cases against radiologists relate to misdiagnosis. Peer review and improved education are some of the steps that medical professionals are taking to combat this issue.
Many medications have drug interactions that doctors must be aware of. In some cases, doctors misread files or fail to analyze a list of current medications a patient is on before prescribing a new one. This can lead to heart issues, breathing problems and many other complications. Decreasing a doctor’s case load each day and using technology to make prescribed medications more visible can decrease the likelihood of this type of event. Alternatively, providing growth opportunities to support staff through tuition reimbursement for taking nurse practitioner or dnp programs online can help relieve some of the stress on everyone.
Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, victims may be awarded financial compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and more. While financial compensation may alleviate some of the physical factors associated with these issues, the reality is that they can cause emotional distress, later the person’s lifestyle or even result in the loss of life in some cases. Medical professionals are continuing to work on techniques and methods to reduce the likelihood of medical malpractice from occurring.