All healthcare professionals, including doctors, surgeons, and nurses, have a responsibility to uphold the medical standard of care. Whenever these providers treat a patient, they must ensure that their actions do not deviate from what a similarly trained, reasonable professional would do in the same situation. If a medical professional deviates from this standard and harms a patient, he or she commits an act of medical malpractice.
If you were mistreated by a medical professional, it can be difficult to know whether your case qualifies for a malpractice lawsuit. The best way to determine whether you qualify for a claim is to speak with an attorney, but here are a few examples to help you know if you have a case.
Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis
One of the most common types of medical malpractice involves diagnosing the patient’s condition. If a patient comes to a doctor with symptoms of an illness or injury, the physician has a responsibility to take the necessary steps to identify the condition. If the doctor diagnoses obvious symptoms as another illness or fails to provide any diagnosis, the patient could suffer from a worsening medical condition.
If the condition is extremely rare or can be easily confused as another medical illness, the doctor may not be liable for medical malpractice. However, if the physician failed to take the steps that another doctor would have under the same circumstances, he or she likely committed an act of negligence.
When prescribing or administering medication, medical professionals must ensure that they are giving the right drugs to the right patient. Additionally, the medication must be in the correct dosage. If a doctor makes a mistake when giving out this medication, the patient can overdose, suffer an allergic reaction, or suffer from a worsening medical condition.
Surgical Errors or Unnecessary Surgery
Surgeons have a responsibility to perform the right surgical procedures on the right patients and follow the standard safety protocol. However, if a surgeon commits an error during a surgical procedure, he or she may be liable for medical negligence. Surgical mistakes can be painful and lead to serious, long-term complications.
Below are a few common types of surgical malpractice:
Performing the wrong surgery on the wrong patient
Unnecessarily amputating a limb or removing a body part
Leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body
Performing unnecessary surgery on a patient
Failing to follow sanitary procedures
Failure to Consider Patient History
When treating a patient, doctors need to examine the patient’s medical history. Patient records include very important information like previous illnesses, allergic reactions, and co-morbid conditions. If a doctor doesn’t look at a patient’s history, he or she could end up prescribing a medication that he or she is allergic to or recommending a dangerous course of treatment.
Speak to an Attorney as Soon as Possible
As the victim of medical malpractice, navigating a lawsuit can be a scary and complex process. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can represent your claim and help you secure the settlement that you deserve.
After the incident, seek medical care from another provider as soon as possible. Then, contact an Augusta medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.