As with general medical errors, a doctor error is a preventable adverse effect of care that you suffer at the hands of your doctor which causes you harm. Unlike a general medical error, which can be caused by various healthcare professionals and associated personnel, doctor errors are specific to your treating doctor.
Some doctor errors are more common than others. The following errors are commonly featured in various medical malpractice lawsuits, and it is important that you are aware of these common doctor errors so that you can help ensure that they do not happen to you.
This is undoubtedly the most common type of doctor error. It is also one of the deadliest types of doctor errors because a doctor’s misdiagnosis not only means that you aren’t being treated for your ailment, but that you’re also possibly receiving treatment for an ailment that you do not have. Misdiagnoses can cause very severe adverse reactions, which is why doctors need to be thorough when examining you.
- Unnecessary tests and procedures
Due to the fear of lawsuits, many doctors are now “overtreating” their parents to ensure that they cannot be implicated should anything go wrong. Unfortunately, unnecessary tests and procedures are not just costly, but they can also be deadly. Whilst your doctor should be thorough in their examination of you, it is unethical for them to perform tests and procedures unnecessarily.
- Unnecessary treatment
As with unnecessary tests and procedures, many doctors “overtreat” their patients with medications and therapies that they don’t need, in order to decrease the risk of a lawsuit should something go wrong. It is unethical for doctors to practice in this way and you should ask your doctor why you are receiving a particular treatment.
- Uncoordinated care
Because there are so many different clinics, hospitals, and specialists, it is highly unlikely that you will be regularly seen by the same doctor. This means that all these different doctors receive your medical information in a file, which each doctor writes in when they treat you. Unfortunately, such documentation methods can lead to uncoordinated care in the form of the same tests being conducted and even medications being prescribed that interact poorly with a medication that has already been prescribed. It is very easy for doctor errors to occur when notetaking has been poor and there has been inadequate communication.
- Missed warning signs
The medical field is incredibly fast paced, and there is generally always a bottleneck of patients waiting to be seen. This makes it very easy for doctors to miss the warning signs that your condition may be worsening, which may lead to further suffering on your part as well as irreversible damage. Doctors need to be aware and should monitor you frequently to ensure that this does not happen.
- Malfunctioning medical devices
The use of assistive equipment is a necessity in the 21st-century healthcare system. Because doctors use this equipment, it is their responsibility to ensure that it is correctly calibrated and functioning optimally. Malfunctioning medical devices that don’t work result in patients being harmed and treatments being less effective.
- Never events
A “never event” is the term given to a doctor (or medical) error that never should have happened. Never events have lifelong, and even deadly, consequences. A lot of medical malpractice lawsuits are filed due to never events occurring.
If doctors do not practice consistent and effective infection control, then they are more likely to spread infection from one patient to another. This is considered a doctor error, as patients become sicker than they originally were which could have been prevented. Some patients with weakened immune systems may even die as a result of these infections.
- Medication mistakes
The number of patients who are prescribed incorrect medications is staggeringly high. You need to make sure that you know what medications you are taking, at what dosages and when during the day, as mistakes are liable to occur at any time.
- Premature discharge
Due to the demand for hospital beds and the never-ending influx of sick patients, doctors often discharge patients before they are ready, or discharge them even though they don’t understand their discharge information. This results in inadequate follow-up and further complications
It is essential that you contact a medical malpractice lawyer if you are going to file a medical malpractice lawsuit related to a doctor error. Only an NYC medical malpractice attorney, who is familiar with the laws specific to the state, can review your documentation and records and determine whether you have a viable case or not. This same attorney can then initiate the process to start a medical malpractice lawsuit, and guide you through its process if your case is viable.
If you believe that you or a family member may have suffered from a doctor error, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.
When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call 1-866-516-5887 for a free, confidential consultation.