You may have heard the horror stories of a surgeon leaving a sponge or clamp inside of a patient during an operation. This type of mistake can lead to pain or infection and possibly even death if additional surgery isn’t performed quickly enough to remedy the situation.
There are also stories of techs administering too much medication or not enough anesthesia to a patient. This can result in the patient experiencing tremendous (and completely unnecessary) pain or complications following what should have been a relatively easy procedure.
There are even a few tales of major surgeries being performed on the wrong patient. Not much additional info is necessary here to show just how much this could negatively impact your life.
Doctors, nurses and medical technicians are highly trained and educated experts but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. In fact, there are estimated to be more than one million serious medical mistakes, including those mentioned above, which occur every single year in the US, with an average of about 85,000 resulting in medical malpractice lawsuits.
In many instances, a case of medical malpractice doesn’t involve major or catastrophic oversight like those mentioned above. The majority of medical malpractice cases come from the misdiagnosis of an illness or injury that could result in serious injury, possibly even death if the mistake isn’t caught and corrected in time.
Reasons for Misdiagnosis
- Doctors work long hours and may see dozens of patients on any given day who are suffering from a variety of different conditions. Even the most intelligent and well-trained medical professional can suffer from lapses in concentration or judgment after working 12 hours shifts for several days in a row. Doctors can overlook the need for tests, miss an inconsistency in your bloodwork or fail to direct you to an appropriate specialist for additional evaluation – all of which can complicate or aggravate your condition.
- Even with the lengthy hours, doctors are on a tight schedule. In many cases, an emergency room doctor or doctor at a clinic doesn’t have an abundance of time to spend with each patient. This can lead to quick diagnosis and prescription for treatment based on the most likely causes of your symptoms. Unfortunately, the most likely diagnosis isn’t always the most accurate and treating a patient without also ruling out other serious possible medical problems can result in disaster for the patient.
- More and more adults are visiting outpatient clinics and treatment centers for reasons of cost, convenience or insurance. While these clinics can certainly be convenient, they can put you in front of doctors who have limited access to complete medical records or history. Even your regular doctor, who is much more aware of past ailments, injuries and family history, can make errors when it comes to diagnosing you. Visiting a doctor who is evaluating you for the very first time without much medical history can create a situation where there are even lower odds for successful diagnosis.
You expect a certain level of care when you visit any medical professional – your health, and possibly your life, depend on it. If, for any reason, the care you receive does not meet the standard level of care that medical professionals are required to provide, you may be eligible for compensation as a result of injuries or complications that occurred due to their negligence.
If you’ve been the victim of an incorrect diagnosis, you need to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today. These cases can be challenging and you certainly don’t want to take any additional risks when it comes to your health. Contact the attorneys at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A. today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you move forward in your fight for compensation in your medical malpractice claim.