Each year, millions of Americans rely on and trust their medical professionals to offer optimal care for their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that approximately 83% of adults keep in contact with their health care professional each year. Although a patient’s well-being should be a medical professional’s number one priority, mistakes are made, such as delayed medical diagnoses, medication errors, or an overall lack of proper care, leaving many patients as a victim of medical malpractice.
Sadly, according to the Journal of American Medical Association, medical negligence is a top cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer and while medical malpractice doesn’t always result in death, it can be life changing. If you have experienced or currently experiencing the following, under your medical professional’s care, you may be a victim of medical malpractice:
Your Treatment Isn’t Working or Doesn’t Seem to Fit Your Diagnosis
When your doctor prescribes a treatment, such as a medication, for your medical condition, it may take awhile before you start to see results. However, if your condition continues to persist and even worsens during your treatment, there’s a good chance that your medical condition was misdiagnosed and additionally, if you feel as if your treatment doesn’t fit your diagnosis, your condition may have been misdiagnosed. While it’s likely that you don’t have the same training or medical knowledge as your doctor, you have the right to a second opinion, question your treatment, and know whether or not there are alternate treatment plans.
The Care You Receive is Subpar
A doctor’s office is, without a doubt, a busy place and there may be moments when the patients are backed up and the doctor and other medical staff seems to be in a rush. Unfortunately, many patients leave the doctor’s office feeling as though their medical concerns were an inconvenience and may not have had their questions answered or leave with more questions than they had going in. While the medical field will always be busy and fast paced by nature, no patient should ever feel as if he or she received less than the quality of care he or she deserves. As a patient, you have the right to receive as much information as you want or need about your condition, anything less and your doctor is not doing his or her job.
Major Mistakes Are Made
As the old saying goes, “to err is human,” however, major mistakes should be avoided at all costs in the medical field. A major medical error, such as operating on the wrong body part, administering the wrong dosage of anesthesia, or even leaving a surgical sponge in the body after a surgery, can be life-threatening and even result in more medical issues, as well as physical, mental, and emotional suffering. Victims of medical malpractice do not need suffer from a major medical mistake, however, these types of cases (i.e. surgical errors) make up a large number of medical malpractice claims.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice is by being aware of the signs, taking control of your health, be your own advocate, and ask questions until you get the answers and information you need and deserve.