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In the United States we tend to give the practice of medicine a great degree of value and respect, and with good reason. Doctors have the ability to help us feel better, stay better, and prevent future illness. Sometimes however, we take our faith in the medical profession a bit too far; believing that doctors do not make mistakes; that they know everything and can fix anything. We often forget that doctor mistakes can and do happen. Most doctor mistakes are not intentional, but many are preventable.
Doctor mistakes result in medical malpractice when a physician fails to exercise the level of care, skill and prudence necessary to prevent patient injury. While we as a society tend to exonerate medical professionals, doctors must be held to a higher standard of accountability than other professionals because doctor mistakes carry far more serious consequences. Inexperienced, overworked, under-qualified, and careless physicians put the lives and safety of their patients on the line when doctor mistakes are made.
Types of Doctor Mistakes
There are several types of doctor mistakes that are common in medical malpractice cases.
• Failure to Diagnose
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of a patient's condition are common doctor mistakes that have the potential to cause serious harm and suffering. Diagnosis-related doctor mistakes are more common with some conditions, such as infant, rare, asymptomatic, digestive, and emotional conditions. Doctor mistakes in diagnosing cancer can also prove extremely injurious to a patient's health.
• Surgical Errors
Doctor mistakes may involve surgical errors. Surgical errors that have the potential to result in serious patient injury include:
• Medication Errors
Medication errors may also be injurious doctor mistakes. Medication errors may be caused by illegible doctor handwriting, or the failure of the doctor to take allergies and concurrent medications into account when prescribing a medication. Doctor mistakes may involve administrating an unsafe and/or defective medication.
In a shocking survey recently released, one news source discovered that nearly 80 percent of all doctors and 50 percent of the nurses surveyed had witnessed a colleague make a mistake or take a dangerous short cut in the course of their professional responsibilities. Of those respondents, only ten percent reported the medical malpractice to a superior. In an environment like this, patients are left to fend for themselves and suffer the devastating financial, emotional, and physical consequences of doctor mistakes.
Contact an Attorney Near You
Doctor mistakes can occur any time a physician fails to follow proper protocol; to act with care, skill and prudence; and or to protect patients from additional harm. If you or a loved one has suffered illness or injury as a result of doctor mistakes, you may wish to learn more about your legal rights and options. To learn more about doctor mistakes, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area.
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