4 Common Signs of Medical Malpractice
Every patient places faith in a hospital, clinic, or another medical facility when they step inside for a diagnosis, treatment, or procedure.
It is natural to expect each medical professional to have the qualifications, training, and experience needed to perform every task and surgery to a high standard. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at every stage of the patient journey, from general bedside care to surgery complications.
If you want to protect your health during a hospital stay or identify where an issue might have arisen following a recent health complication, check out these four common signs of medical malpractice.
1. Staff Shortages
Unfortunately, most hospitals and clinics are understaffed. The issue not only impacts healthcare professionals’ workloads and stress levels, but it can affect patient health.
If a hospital doesn’t have enough doctors, nurses, and other personnel on staff, a patient’s needs can be neglected and may increase their risk of bed sores, hospital-acquired infection, forgotten medications, or missed medical symptoms.
For example, if a dementia patient doesn’t have regular access to drinking water and they cannot communicate their needs, they may experience dehydration that might cause increased confusion, constipation, and urinary tract infections.
No patient should pay the price for staff shortages, as a hospital or medical setting has a duty of care to its patients. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to medical negligence, don’t hesitate to visit a Houston attorney for personal injury representation.
2. A Conflicting Second Opinion
If another doctor appears frustrated or angered by your past treatment or diagnosis from another medical professional, or is confused about your treatment plan, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
A conflicting second opinion could indicate a previous doctor or medical team made a mistake that has affected your health or compromised your safety.
3. Surgical Complications
Health issues can arise during or following a surgical procedure. Yet, medical malpractice can increase your risk of a health issue, such as a hospital-acquired infection. For example, surgical tools that haven’t been sterilized effectively will increase your risk of infection.
Of course, it is important to bear in mind that not every surgical complication is due to malpractice, as unexpected problems can arise beyond a surgeon’s control. However, it is vital to receive a high standard of care post-surgery to prevent infection, such as staff handwashing, sterile clothing, antibiotic use, and controlled body temperature.
4. A Diagnosis Failure or Delay
Patients depend on doctors to quickly diagnose a medical condition and create the appropriate treatment plan. However, a doctor is guilty of malpractice if they miss the early signs of a disease or disregard your symptoms.
If a doctor fails to accurately assess your symptoms, a patient might experience increased medical complications that could prove fatal. For instance, early diagnosis is vital for many aggressive diseases like cancer, and any delay could make it challenging to treat a patient and recover from the health issue.
Every patient has rights to their medical records. If in doubt, request a copy from a hospital, clinic, or another facility.