Heading to a hospital is not something anyone looks forward to, but at times it’s something we can’t avoid. Whether you’re heading over for a regular checkup or an emergency, you do so, trusting that the healthcare staff will be there to take good care of you.
Medical negligence is an unfortunate yet very tangible reality that can affect the lives of countless patients who trust their healthcare providers. Generally, healthcare staff members act responsibly and protect their patients. Still, sometimes the situation can take a turn for the worst.
It can be a nightmare to head to the ER hoping to get better and find yourself in an even more confusing, unprecedented situation. Several health issues can occur due to medical negligence, and below we’ll list some of the most prevalent ones.
Vibrio vulnificus and other infections
It’s common knowledge that hospitals can be cesspools of bacteria and viruses, and it can be extremely easy for people with lowered immune levels to catch an infection. However, when we head to a medical facility, we hope the staff will thoroughly examine and assess the symptoms to detect the current condition and prevent further damage from new ones. However, vibrio vulnificus cases are a common problem that can occur due to medical negligence.
Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that causes wound infections, septicemia, and gastroenteritis. If left unchecked, it can often be fatal. Healthcare providers must assess the warning signs with great diligence to treat this bacterium quickly. If you’re in the Colorado area and have a loved one who passed away from a similar infection, you might want to look into a wrongful death case. A wrongful death attorney in Colorado can assess whether the cause of death was indeed negligence and can help you take the best steps for the future.
Medication errors are some of the most common causes of medical negligence, and one which can often lead to irreparable damage or even death. Medication errors occur when a doctor fails to assess the patient’s condition accurately and prescribes the wrong medication. This can be a wrong dose or the wrong medication entirely.
Medication can never be taken lightly, as an improper dose can harm an otherwise healthy individual. Too high a dose can cause complications, whereas a low dose can fail to control symptoms. Medication errors can occur due to doctors not assessing the case properly, not communicating with each other, or not communicating with the patient. Additionally, other errors can include failing to account for drug interactions or allergies, which can lead to a strong, adverse reaction for the patient. Medication errors are responsible for several thousand deaths annually, so keeping a close eye on what your physician prescribes is important.
When we head to the hospital while expecting a baby, we do so, hoping that we’re in the best hands and that we’ll soon start an incredible new journey with a new family member. However, for many expecting parents, things can take a horrible turn, and they may have to deal with birth injuries instead. Even in today’s age of modern medicine, birth is no easy feat, and several complications can occur. However, doctors must be equipped to deal with such issues without causing any harm to the baby or mother.
Congenital disabilities occur when doctors fail to protect the baby during or before birth. Prenatally, it can include overlooking vital factors such as lowered oxygen levels, gestational diabetes, fetal positioning, or size. During birth, processes that can harm a baby include excessive force, delayed aid, and more. Congenital disabilities often bring lifelong impairment and can cause neurodevelopmental delays. While some birth defects can’t be prevented, others can easily be accounted for if your medical provider has been diligent.
Delayed or wrong diagnosis
Delayed or wrong diagnoses are a common feature of medical negligence and can cause patients immense emotional and physical turmoil. At times, healthcare providers may fail to properly listen to their patients. They may overlook crucial signs and symptoms which can help save lives. Many healthcare providers may have implicit biases influencing their decision-making processes, such as not taking people of certain genders or races seriously.
A delayed or wrongful diagnosis can cost patients their lives or cause lifelong impairment. It can also cause them emotional distress, as their healthcare provider won’t take their claims seriously. Cases where delayed diagnoses can be deadly, include issues in detecting cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and mental health issues such as PTSD or depression. Seeking a second opinion is vital if your current healthcare provider isn’t taking you seriously or their treatment fails to make you feel better.
Healthcare providers must ensure their clients receive the best care for their concerns. If they fail to do so, the patients may suffer for a long time and can even lose their lives. Above, we’ve talked about some of the most common issues caused by medical negligence. Keeping an eye out for these issues can help patients protect themselves against negligence.