Having to go to a doctor or hospital can be very scary. For better or worse, many of us put off going to see a medical professional for as long as possible. One common concern that people have is that they’re not going to be able to get the quality of treatment that they require. In this blog, we’ll discuss how likely it is that a person will experience medical malpractice as well as some ways to avoid it.
What is Medical Malpractice?
First, it’s good to understand what medical malpractice is. Medical malpractice refers to the professional negligence by healthcare professionals or providers such as doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. When treatment provided by these professionals is substandard and causes injury or death to a patient, medical malpractice has occurred. It’s important to point out that doctors don’t commit malpractice just because their efforts are unsuccessful. In other words, medical malpractice is not always the cause of negative outcomes for patients, but it’s more common than you might think.
How Common is Medical Malpractice?
In the United States, medical errors are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Medical errors are responsible for at least 250,000 deaths every year. 10 percent of the deaths in the US are a result of medical errors. These statistics can be incredibly frightening for people when they’re faced with an illness or injury that requires going to a medical professional. To combat medical errors, hospitals have instituted a number of policies designed to curtail systemic issues. Unfortunately, these reforms cannot prevent all of the instances of malpractice that occur.
What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can occur in many different ways, so it’s impossible to anticipate every potential issue you may face. There are some common types of medical malpractice that you should be aware of before you go to a hospital. For example, the failure of medical professionals to obtain the informed consent of the patient often results in medical errors. Before agreeing to anything, make sure you fully understand the expected outcomes, potential risks, and reasonable alternatives to the course of action being proposed by the medical professional. Other common types of medical malpractice are misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional incorrectly diagnoses a patient, while missed diagnosis is a failure to properly diagnose a patient. Negligence on the part of medical professionals often results in misdiagnosis and or missed diagnosis.
On top of these very common types of medical malpractice, there are other potential types to avoid. For example, medication errors are common. Medication errors occur when a patient receives the wrong medicine, the wrong dose, or a bad batch. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical companies can all make mistakes when it comes to medication. Finally, surgical errors frequently occur. It’s difficult to be vigilant about surgical errors in the moment, but it’s a good practice to make sure you properly understand the risks involved with any surgery that a medical professional recommends for you.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
With over 70 years of collective legal and trial experience, the medical malpractice lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield will answer your questions about medical malpractice during a free consultation, help point you in the right direction, or if need be, represent you and your medical malpractice claim in court. A successful claim requires a lawyer who understands the intricacies of a medical malpractice case, ranging from thoroughly investigating the claim to understanding the state-by-state regulations for filing. Contact the experienced malpractice attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield today.