Recognizing the Signs of Medical Malpractice: 7 Malpractice Examples You Should Look For

More than 250,000 Americans die every year due to medical errors. Those who are injured as a result of medical malpractices are four times higher.

When we seek medical help, we expect medical professionals to diagnose us correctly and prescribe the right treatment. Unfortunately, this does not happen in some cases.

While mistakes happen in every industry, they are more problematic in the medical field. Medical practitioners should, therefore, work in the best interests of their patients.

Medical malpractices can happen in different areas of medicine; thus, the warning signs vary according to the area of treatment. To improve your awareness, we have discussed the common malpractice examples to look out for.

1. Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis happens when the doctor attributes the patient’s symptoms to the wrong disease. It also occurs when the doctor makes a late diagnosis.

When the patient is given the wrong medication for the disease, the condition may become worse. The patient may develop complications resulting from side effects of the administered medicine.

A misdiagnosis can also happen when the physician takes the wrong imaging and blood tests. It can even happen when additional tests are not done based on the first one, or when the test is contaminated.

Similarly, you can be a medical malpractice victim if your symptoms do not match the diagnosis. Even if you don’t have any medical background, it’s important to research the diagnosis you are getting.

If the symptoms do not match the diagnosis, be sure to consider a second option.

2. Doctor Giving Elusive Answers

It’s your right to get clear answers from your medical practitioner. The doctor should provide you with all information related to the diagnosed condition. They should also inform you of the treatment they will give you and even advice on how to take care of yourself.

Take it as a red sign when your doctor fails to answer your questions or update you on your treatment progress. You should also know there is a problem when they give you short, elusive, and imprecise answers regarding your condition.

Such answers show that a mistake has happened during the treatment, and they are probably trying to hide the truth from you.

3. Condition Fails to Improve

Does your state seem to deteriorate despite taking your medicine regularly? You might be a victim of wrong prescription.

As earlier mentioned, it’s the doctor’s responsibility to keep you informed of all steps that they take. They should also show you the lab test results.

Not all medical treatments are guaranteed to improve with time. However, if a patient undergoes a painful surgery or treatment against what was right, close attention is required.

4. Poor Care

Health care facilities should administer proper care and attention to their patients. Unfortunately, some of them don’t do so, and the result is neglect of the patient.

The common warnings sign for a health facility with poor care services are understaffing or overworked doctor’s who work while tired. They also include stressful, dirty environment, or being treated by a staff that is high on alcohol and other drugs.

You cannot get the right treatment in a poorly managed hospital. The health care workers should work as a team to administer proper care to patients.

Doctors’ fatigue can cause fatal errors and their carelessness can lead to improper treatment. If the hospital environment does not impress, inform your medical malpractice lawyer to avoid risking your life or that of your dear one.

5. Doctor Admits to Making Errors

One of the most obvious signs of medical malpractice is when the doctor admits their fault. They could confess that they gave you the wrong drugs, gave you the wrong lab results, or did the wrong surgery on you.

However, keep in mind that most medical providers cannot admit their mistakes to a patient. A concerning report shows that more than 70% of physicians offer limited apologies in the wake of medical errors. Others don’t apologize at all.

For this reason, it’s essential to know the other signs of medical malpractice to avoid becoming a victim. Also, some states have laws which allow doctors to express their remorse when the patients’ treatment doesn’t go as expected. This doesn’t, however, mean that their apology can’t be used against them in court.

6. Extraordinary Consequences

A doctor must explain both the benefits and risks of undergoing a particular treatment. The explanation should be given to the patient or their close relative before they begin the procedure. This helps the patient to know the expected outcomes.

However, when a patient shows unusual outcome or gets awful experiences after the treatment, a medical malpractice might have been done.

For instance, a simple biopsy surgery of the abdomen is expected to have a quick recovery period. But, when the patient suffers bloating, fever, and severe abdominal pains weeks after the surgery, there could be a problem.

A scan should be done immediately to find out if the surgeon left any foreign tool on the wound, or if they stitched well.

Additionally, a doctor should confirm if the patient is allergic to a specific medication before they administer it to them.

7. A Family Member Dies While In a Stable Condition

Death is inevitable and can happen anywhere, especially in the hospital setup. However, some doctors are negligent and mistreat their clients. The negligence can have fatal implications.

So, when you lose your loved one in the hospital and their condition was improving, some form of mistreatment could have taken place.

Medical negligence happens in many ways: they might have been subjected to the wrong surgery, given an overdose or given an underdose. If the doctors don’t have a clear explanation of what resulted in death, look for an attorney to follow up on the case.

Beyond Malpractice Examples 

If you see any of the above malpractice examples in your situation, you might be a victim of medical negligence and malpractice. You have the right to ask questions, and you deserve straightforward answers from the concerned parties.

Don’t be silent. Look for an experienced medical attorney to help you. You will be entitled to compensation and justice. Check out our blog for more information.