Throughout their careers, healthcare professionals are faced with a variety of ethical questions, challenges, and complaints from their patients due to medical malpractice or errors.
Medical malpractice refers to the professional negligence of a healthcare professional that leads to substandard treatment, resulting in injury, pain and suffering, trauma, financial consequences, or death to the patient. If you think that you’ve been a victim of a negligence of a doctor or any healthcare professional recently, be sure to contact a medical mistake attorney immediately so that you can get compensation.
Medical malpractice situations are very stressful, not just to the patient but to their family as well. So, to help avoid experiencing such trauma and stress, you should learn how to avoid situations of malpractice, at least as much as is within your ability as a patient.
- Recognize Medical Errors and Malpractice
To avoid being involved in malpractice situations, you should learn how to recognize medical errors and malpractice. Below is a list of the most common medical errors and malpractice.
- Misdiagnosis – As the name suggests, misdiagnosis occurs when the attending physician incorrectly determines the cause of a patient’s illness. It is worth noting that misdiagnosis is not always cause for a malpractice suit. The misdiagnosis has to have been caused by the physician’s negligence or incompetence, meaning that a competent physician from their peers would not have made a misdiagnosis.
- Wrong-site surgery – This is one of the worst medical errors imaginable. Wrong-site surgery occurs when a doctor is performing surgery on the wrong part of the body—or worse, the wrong patient.
- Wrong medication – This happens when a patient receives the wrong medication. This type of medical error can also occur several times throughout the treatment process.
- Wrong dosage – This happens when a patient receives the wrong dosage of a particular medication. The consequences of receiving the wrong dosage can be more severe than receiving wrong medication.
- Always Get Second Opinion
It’s important that you get another doctor’s opinion before you receive any emergency medical procedure. Getting a second opinion is not saying you don’t trust your doctor—it’s a matter of making sure that you are responsible for your own health. Also, there’s no law that prohibits you from getting second opinion from another doctor.
- Avoid Emergency Rooms for Routine Illnesses
Emergency rooms are often the busiest parts of a hospital and also the places where most medical malpractice situations occur. Emergency rooms are designed to provide emergency care for critically-ill patients. However, the rushed and intense atmosphere inside emergency rooms may lead to medical malpractice errors.
The emergency room is always the best option for emergencies—but for routine illnesses, such as cold or minor injuries, it’s best to go to your family doctor or a local walk-in clinic. Only go to an emergency room if your medical condition needs it.
- Be Informed and Stay Up-To-Date
Whenever you’re given a diagnosis, a new prescription, or the results of your medical tests, it’s always a good idea to read that information carefully and make sure you understand it.
Don’t hesitate to ask whatever questions that come into your mind so you can have a full understanding of what your medical condition really is. Keep in mind that you are always responsible for your health and well-being, so don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask many questions of your doctors, nurses, or pharmacist. Don’t allow the healthcare professionals to keep you in the dark, especially if it concerns your health.
- Always Bring Someone with You
It’s important to have someone with you whenever you go to a hospital, especially if you are about to undergo a serious medical procedure.
Bringing someone like a loved one or a family member is great because they can help you make decisions and even ask questions that you might not think of. Having someone you can rely on to be your second pair of eyes and ears can be really helpful in keeping you out of harm’s way as you try to get treatment for your medical condition.
- Always Get the Best Care Possible
The most effective way of avoiding medical malpractice situations is to get the best care possible. Avoid relying on substandard physicians who are not capable of giving you the proper medical treatment that you need.
To do this, you have to research and make a list of potential doctors before you commit to one. By doing some extensive research and asking the right questions, you’ll be on your way to finding a truly skilled and reliable doctor for your condition and reduce your risks of experiencing medical malpractice situations.
Even though we expect our healthcare professionals to do their job on a standard level and to give us the best care possible, we can’t just let them be solely responsible for everything. It’s true that you can get compensated under medical malpractice law, but the compensation is often not always enough to help you recover from the stress and trauma caused by the malpractice. The best thing to do is to avoid these malpractice situations so that you don’t end up suffering the consequences in the first place.