Usually, when you go to a hospital, it’s because you want to get better. And in the majority of cases, that happens. There are many hospitals in which the patient’s health is a priority. They do everything to prevent mistakes and ensure that everything is done in a way that doesn’t bring any harm to patients.
Unfortunately, situations in which the patient’s injuries become more severe because of a medical error are becoming more common. Just look at the statistics. Almost 440.000 Americans die every year because of some medical error, which makes up for more than 10% of deaths. More people die from it than from accidents, strokes, or Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, 4% of patients annually develop an infection that wouldn’t happen if everything was done correctly.
There are many reasons for it. The most common ones are technical errors, delays in diagnosis or treatment, inadequate monitoring after surgery, failure to use the test results or medication errors. All of them can lead to many complications, such as slower recovery, or in extreme cases – death.
So what can we do if our loved ones or we were a victim of medical malpractice? How can we prevent it? If you want to find out those things, all you have to do is keep reading.
What can you do if you experienced medical malpractice?
So what can you do if you suspect that you or your loved one fell victim to medical malpractice? Well, you need to…
- Find Another Doctor – the first thing that you should do if you think that a doctor has made a mistake is finding a new one. They can treat the complications that arose because of it, or they can introduce a new treatment if the previous doctor gave you a wrong diagnose.
- Request Medical Records – if you decide to take the case to court, the medical records will serve as great evidence. However, you need to request them as soon as possible, as even though falsifying the documents is illegal, it still doesn’t stop some doctors from doing it to avoid legal consequences.
- Keep a Journal – when you start suspecting that the doctor has made a mistake, you should start keeping a journal. It should contain your medical information, such as the symptoms you are experiencing because of the medical error, as well as how the doctor’s mistake has impacted your life. It can be used later on in a medical malpractice case.
- Contact an Attorney – cases concerning medical malpractice can be extremely complex, so instead of trying to represent yourself, hire a professional attorney. There are probably many in your city, so just search in Google, for instance, ‘las vegas injury lawyer’ and schedule a consultation. Try to make an appointment before you sign the paperwork, so that you’ll know that what you’ll sign will be suitable for your case. Talk about everything that happened in detail, and provide your attorney with the right documentation. After that, they can start investigating the matter and gathering evidence. For that point, any legal action connected with your case will be the responsibility of the attorney, so that you can put your focus on recovering from the injuries.
- Avoid Making Contact with other Parties – since it’s your attorney that will take care of the legal matters, there’s no need for you to be in contact with any of the other parties. Don’t post about your situation on social media. And absolutely don’t talk with the defendant’s insurance company! Don’t answer any questions or talk about the case. Insurance companies tend to twist your words so that they can use them against you later on in court. Let your lawyer speak to them.
How to prevent medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice can be prevented – it might not be easy, but it’s doable. Some of the things that health workers can do include:
- Improve the communication with the patients – open and honest communication is fundamental
- Be up to date with the latest standards of the medical procedures, and any new developments, such as changes in disease management
- Get consent from patients for any medical treatment or procedure; the doctor needs to explain to patients all the risks that come with it
- Keep accurate documentation of all exams and procedures
The things listed above are just a few of those that can be done. The complete list would be much longer. However, nothing can be done if someone doesn’t want it to be done.
Medical malpractice is a severe problem these days, as it kills more than 400.000 people each year, and that’s only in America. Many things can be done to prevent it. However, if you already fell victim to it, after reading this, you might have a slightly clearer view of what you need to do right now. Good luck!