As you get older, you tend to visit the doctor more often and need more medical intervention for your changing health. Unfortunately, what should be healing can sometimes be damaging. Health care providers can make mistakes that cause you a severe injury. When these are due to negligence, the situation falls under medical malpractice.
Negligence means that the provider did not follow standards of practice and that the error would not have occurred if the provider had not been careless. Many of these mistakes happen in the following areas.
Negligence can happen in a standard room while you are getting a medical evaluation, whether it is a routine check-up or you came in due to specific symptoms. Your provider is responsible for determining your health, so missing important signs or not taking the time to find them out can lead to the preventable or quick development of disease.
Your doctor needs to be aware of your medical history, listen to your concerns, order the proper tests and interpret results correctly. Failing to diagnose you soon enough or at all, or diagnosing you for the wrong problem, may constitute negligence.
One of the biggest causes of negligence is miscommunication, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Lack of proper written and verbal communication between staff leads to the following errors in surgical procedures:
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part or patient
- Doing the wrong operation
- Giving the wrong type or dosage of medication
- Leaving surgical tools inside the patient's body
Your surgeon may also botch the procedure, or maybe your surgery was not even necessary at all.
The care after a surgery is just as important to avoid injuries from infection, early discharge or medication. The same goes even if you did not have surgery. After a diagnosis, the doctor should find and begin the right treatment for you or refer you to a specialist who can make those decisions.