We seek medical care when we’re ill or injured and need professional medical guidance and treatment. When your doctor’s care makes you worse instead of better, it can be particularly harsh. And if your health deteriorates because of medical malpractice, it’s that much more difficult still. Medical professionals owe you a standard of care that is reasonable and prudent. Failure to provide this level of care can lead to serious—even deadly—consequences.
Never EventsThere are certain things that should simply never happen in a surgical facility, and the Joint Commission—a nonprofit that accredits health care organizations in the United States— refers to these occurrences as sentinel events (also known as never events). While such blatant errors are rare, they do happen, and when they do, it usually means that there’s a fundamental breakdown in the facility’s mechanism for patient safety. Sentinel events include such egregious errors as performing the wrong surgery, performing the right surgery on the wrong limb, performing a surgery that shouldn’t have been recommended in the first place, or leaving surgical instruments inside the patient. Medical events such as these are always indicative of medical malpractice, and the consequences are often devastating.
Medical MalpracticeMedical malpractice can come in many different forms, but there are a few types that are more common than others:
- Medication errors. Errors in medication are among the most common medical mistakes made, and they can be especially egregious errors because medications can often cause serious side effects. Medical professionals in the chain from prescribing to dispensing medications are responsible for administering appropriate medications to appropriate recipients.
- Surgical errors. Not all surgical errors are never events. Sometimes surgical errors involve maintaining unsanitary conditions that lead to dangerous infections, injuring a nearby organ during the surgical process, or administering anesthesia dangerously or incorrectly.
- Post-surgical infections. While infection is always a possibility, they are sometimes the result of medical facilities that don’t maintain adequate sanitary conditions. Post-surgical infections can lead to debilitating pain and ongoing health concerns.