Unfortunately there are some people who desperately need and deserve legal help but have difficulty obtaining it. The elderly are a part of this group, and when the victim is elderly, medical malpractice can be harder to prove.
It has been found that in many cases that elderly patients may have misdiagnosed medical conditions, or have experienced a delay in the proper diagnosis of health issues. Therefore, an elderly patient could have an improper or completely missed diagnosis of cancer, or a viral infection may have been mistakenly identified as a bacterial infection and the incorrect treatment was administered. These types of mistakes can be life threatening due to the health concerns of people of advanced age.
Other types of errors that can be very costly include surgical errors. Life threatening harm can result from surgical errors that occur and the patient being operated on is elderly. Proper dosage of anesthetic can also be a significant issue for the health of elderly patients.
Issues in caring for elderly patients are not only with doctors and surgeons. Nurses and orderlies who take care of the elderly can also make errors or commit elder abuse. Not only does elder abuse occur in assisted-living facilities, but also at hospitals and clinics. Elder abuse can occur in the form of physical, mental, emotional, and even sexual assault.
In cases where the elderly victim has died, even if malpractice was a factor in the elderly patient’s death, it can be challenge to prove the cause of death because the person’s old age was an even bigger factor. If the patient was already sick or in poor health, it can be hard to prove that those weren’t what caused the patient’s death. However, there are some cases where medical malpractice is obvious, such as performing the wrong surgery.
Damages are another challenge when it comes to elderly patient’s seeking compensation for medical malpractice. Someone of old age, legally speaking, has a life that is of less monetary value. Factors to determine this include whether they are supporting a family, earning a salary on which dependents rely, whether they experienced pain and suffering, and quality of life. In cases of supporting a family and earning a salary that dependents rely on, it is unlikely the elderly patient was doing so.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.