Going to the doctor should mean getting better, not getting worse. Unfortunately, preventable medical errors are still a serious problem in all health care settings. These medical errors can lead to serious injuries, worse health outcomes and even death.
Whether seeking help for a problem or undergoing ongoing treatment, medical errors can happen at any point along the way. This means that even if you manage to get the correct diagnosis, you should remain vigilant about your care and treatment. Here are some things to consider if you are worried about medical errors.
Did I get the correct diagnosis?
When you go to the doctor, you expect him or her to really pay attention to your symptoms and test results. The reality is that some doctors ignore reported symptoms or overlook alarming test results, rendering incorrect diagnoses. It can be a relief to hear that you are not sick or that you are only suffering from a mild health issue, but that relief may be short lived when you realize your doctor was wrong.
A misdiagnosis often results in delayed or improper treatment. This can make your original health condition worse or may even cause you to develop new problems. If you suspect that a doctor missed something important, it may be helpful to seek out a second opinion.
What about my medication?
Like most people in North Carolina, you have probably taken prescription medication at some point in your life. Perhaps you are even on medication right now. However, are you certain that your doctor checked that it would not interact with any of your other medications before prescribing it?
The World Health Organization reports that medication errors harm an estimated 1.3 million people in America each and every year. According to WHO, medication errors often result in severe harm. Errors can happen when prescribing, preparing, dispensing or administering prescription medications.
Should I worry about surgery?
Surgical errors usually fall into one of three categories — wrong procedure, wrong patient or wrong site. These errors occur when a surgeon performs the incorrect surgery, operates on the wrong patient or operates on the wrong part of the body. Communication errors are largely to blame for these types of errors and, according to the Patient Safety Network, indicate serious safety problems.
Surviving a medical error is a life altering experience. From new concerns about your health to significant medical bills, it might feel like nothing will ever be normal again. You may find it helpful to pursue a medical malpractice claim, which can help you recover essential compensation for your damages. Before filing, you may want to reach out to an experienced attorney who is familiar with medical malpractice cases.