The world of medicine is one place that leaves little room for mistakes. However, there’s a difference between a mistake and an act of negligence.
Whenever a healthcare professional neglects to provide the adequate amount of care and treatment to a patient, huge consequences may arise. Some drastic examples would be the rare case when a surgeon operates on the wrong extremity or leaves a piece of equipment inside of the patient.
However, a situation does not have to involve surgery to be considered medical malpractice. Wrong diagnosis can also be a form of malpractice.
In 2015, a Detroit doctor prescribed extreme medications for more than 500 patients, all of whom he wrongly diagnosed with cancer. The doctor prescribed harsh chemotherapy to people who did not actually have cancer. He scared the patients into believing that they would die without the expensive treatments.
“It’s your life or your money,” many recalled him saying. One man actually died from the side effects of the chemotherapy. Experts took the stand, claiming that the drug this doctor used over 94 times per patient is rarely used more than eight times per patient for some of the most aggressive cancers.
In some cases, it’s not the wrong diagnosis that leads to the issues, but the failure to diagnose at all. This past May, a patient sued a hospital in Chicago for failing to diagnose her blood clot. As a result of this failure to diagnose a serious medical issue, the woman’s leg was amputated because the symptoms grew too hard to fix over time.
How to Protect Yourself
While you are in the care of a hospital or medical facility, it is their responsibility to maintain your safety. However, there are steps you can take in order to lessen your chances of being a victim of medical malpractice.
Communicate: Be sure to be upfront with the doctor about any pain or illness you feel. It is important that you give the doctor a full picture of your symptoms so that important diagnoses don’t get ruled out.
Ask Questions: If you don’t fully understand something then ask questions. Be sure that the doctor is confident in his answers.
Speak Up: In addition to asking questions, don’t be afraid to speak up. If the doctor is using too much medical jargon, let her know that you need her to speak more clearly. Don’t miss something important simply because you were too nervous to ask the doctor to say it in a different way.
Bring a Friend: Sometimes, when we are in pain, we don’t always hear everything clearly. It is important that when you go to the doctor for an illness or injury that you bring a second pair of ears so that you don’t miss any important information.
Be Proactive: It is important that you remain aware of your own body and notice whenever something does not feel right. If something feels off, be sure to schedule an appointment to check it out right away so that it doesn’t get worse.
Medical malpractice is a horrible event that often has immeasurable consequences. If your life was altered by medical malpractice you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today to set up a free consultation or contact us online.