Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured by a medical professional during the course of his or her care, with such injury being caused by the doctor’s deviation from accepted medical practice. Whether your injury was caused by a surgeon, dentist, nurse, general practitioner, anesthesiologist, assistant, or the like, you are entitled to be compensated for the harms said people have caused.
The incidents of medical malpractice in New York and the United States are small in percentage to overall care, but they nonetheless occur daily. Some of these wrong acts are so outrageous that the medical community states they should never occur. Such has been fittingly called the “never event” by doctors.
It is easy to assume that since the term exists, many of these events must have occurred throughout history. In fact, researchers claim that 4,000 of these never events take place every year. Here are some examples of never events:
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Amputating the wrong appendage
- Performing the wrong procedure on the right patient
- Prescribing an improper dosage
- Administering the wrong medication
- Unintentionally leaving foreign objects inside of a patient, such as a scalpel, sponge, needle, etc.
- Discharging a newborn to the wrong person
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that medical professionals are taught how to prevent these types of accidents, but such acts nonetheless have continued to occur. So much so that the medical profession and lawmakers have implemented procedures and laws to help combat the problem. For example, surgeons will place his or her initials on the surgical site prior to surgery so that the proper part of the patient’s body is operated on. Also, surgical room staff will conduct a “sponge count” prior to and after surgery so as to ensure that such an object was not left inside of the patient.
We also know that many acts of medical negligence are simply not reported or detected. While the examples listed above would be pretty hard to avoid detection, other types of medical malpractice can be missed and or not disclosed. Therefore, any statistic of medical malpractice rates will naturally be lower than that which actually occurs.
Also note that medical professionals are not required to tell patients that a mistake was made. Moreover, illness or injuries from which a patient suffers may wrongly be attributed to something else instead of malpractice. For example, a post surgical infection may be overlooked as not being caused by the negligence of a doctor or health care facility. Other times a patient suffering from excessive scarring may wrongly think that such was normal when in fact a doctor did something wrong that caused the excessive scarring.
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 [email protected] 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.