Medical Malpractice Can Happen at Any Stage of Your Care

Many people think of a botched surgery when they hear the term “medical malpractice.” However, malpractice can happen at any point during your medical care. In our post today, we’d like to illustrate this point with some hypothetical examples. 

Prior to Treatment 

There are opportunities for mistakes to occur before you receive treatment. For instance: 

  • Failure to warn. It’s up to the doctor to inform you of potential risks or benefits to any recommended treatment. 
  • Failure to obtain consent. The doctor’s office is obligated to obtain your consent before treating. 
  • Improper ER triage. ER staff could fail to notice the seriousness of a patient’s situation.

During Evaluation 

In this phase of treatment, possibilities exist for failing to make the correct diagnosis. 

  • Failure to order correct tests. A doctor may bypass ordering a test that another doctor would in a similar situation. Or perhaps, order an unnecessary test.
  • Misdiagnosis. When an incorrect diagnosis is made, a patient not only misses out getting the correct treatment, they could also be subject to other, harmful treatments. 
  • Overlooked past medical history. It’s important that nursing staff and doctors consider a patient’s past medical history when evaluating a present health issue. In particular, doctors must note a patient’s allergies and current medications. 

During Treatment

Here are some types of things that can go wrong during a patient’s medical care. 

  • Improper treatment. A doctor or nurse could administer the wrong treatment or medication, either intentionally or by mistake. 
  • Patient mix-up. One patient’s treatment, medication, or surgery gets mixed up with another’s.
  • Communication errors. It’s possible for care to be miscommunicated between staff, such as during hospital shift changes. 

After Treatment 

Even after a patient has been treated at a doctor’s office or hospital, there are still opportunities for mistakes to happen. 

  • Pharmaceutical errors. A pharmacy could fill a prescription incorrectly or relay incorrect information to a patient. 
  • Failure to follow-up. A doctor could fail to check in with a patient and make needed adjustments to their care. 
  • Failure to inform. A surgeon or his staff could fail to let a patient know what warning signs to watch for following their surgery. 

Proving Malpractice 

Even if you found yourself in one of the unfortunate situations above, there’s something you should know. Proving medical malpractice is not easy. You must demonstrate that you were injured, and that injury was the result of negligence. These types of cases can be difficult to overcome the needed burden of proof and win. 

For this reason, we encourage you to call a Tacoma medical malpractice lawyer for help. Our lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations. We’ll hear what happened to you, ask you a few questions, and help determine if you have a case. If we choose to work together, you’ll only pay us if we’re able to win your case. 

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Angela Russell
Articles: 73

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