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7 Warning Signs of Medical Malpractice to Watch For

It’s hard to believe that a healthcare professional would make a mistake, but unfortunately, medical malpractice happens more often than you’d think. Imagine trusting your loved one in the hands of a doctor only to find out they’ve been harmed due to negligence or incompetence.

We want you to clearly understand the key indicators of medical malpractice so that you can contact a medical malpractice attorney and find proper representation if needed. With that being said, here are seven warning signs to watch out for.

1. Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

If a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition on time, it greatly impacts the chance of recovery. Similarly, if a patient receives treatment for the wrong condition, it can lead to even further harm.

To understand the gravity of this mistake, here’s a potential scenario:

A woman went to her doctor with symptoms of severe abdominal pain and was diagnosed with a common stomach flu. However, the pain persisted, so she sought a second opinion. It turned out she had an untreated ruptured appendix, which led to life-threatening complications.

2. Lack of Informed Consent

Informed consent means patients have the right to be informed about the potential risks, benefits, and alternatives of any medical procedure or treatment before consenting. Failure to provide adequate information or obtaining consent can result in medical malpractice.

Any communication between the doctor and the patient should be documented in the patient’s medical records. If you feel like your doctor did not properly inform you of your treatment options or risks, seek the help of a medical malpractice attorney.

3. Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are one of the most alarming forms of medical malpractice. Such mistakes can have severe consequences and may require additional surgeries to fix. A study by Johns Hopkins even found that surgical errors were the third leading cause of death in the United States.

These errors include:

  • Wrong-site surgery (operating on the wrong body part)
  • Wrong procedure
  • Leaving surgical instruments inside the patient’s body
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Post-surgery infections

If you have suffered from any of these mistakes, it’s important to seek legal advice from a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

4. Medication Errors

Medication errors can occur when a professional prescribes the wrong medication or dosage, administers the wrong medication, or fails to monitor a patient’s reaction to medication. These lead to very serious health complications and are more likely to occur when a healthcare professional is overworked or understaffed.

5. Failure to Follow the Standard of Care

Medical professionals are held to a certain “standard of care”—or the expected level of skill and attention that any reasonably competent medical professional would provide in similar circumstances. Examples of deviations from the standard of care include:

  • Not ordering necessary tests
  • Misinterpreting test results
  • Failing to refer a patient to a specialist when needed

If you feel like your doctor did not provide the expected level of care, it’s worth investigating with a medical malpractice attorney to determine whether or not there was negligence involved.

6. Lack of Communication and Follow-Up

Good communication between patients and healthcare professionals is essential for proper medical care. If a doctor fails to follow up with a patient, they can do significant harm.

For example, if a patient reports side effects from a medication, and the doctor does not take any action, it can result in serious health complications.

7. Ignoring Patient Concerns or Symptoms

Medical professionals must listen attentively to their patients and take their concerns and symptoms seriously. Every patient should speak up if they feel like something is wrong. If a doctor ignores or dismisses their concerns, this is a clear red flag.

It’s essential to trust your instincts and advocate for yourself or your loved one when it comes to medical care. Seek a second opinion if necessary and consult with a medical malpractice attorney if you suspect any wrongdoing.

Find a Dedicated Medical Malpractice Attorney at G. Eric Nielson & Associates

At G. Eric Nielson & Associates, our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys is dedicated to fighting for victims. We understand the devastating impact it can have on individuals and their families, and we are committed to seeking justice and compensation for those who have suffered due to medical negligence.

Please reach out immediately if you need someone on your side who will fight for your voice to be heard.