If you ever require medical attention due to a personal injury accident, you are most likely going to want the best treatment and the highest standard of care available. Sadly, when a healthcare professional makes a mistake due to a distraction, incompetence, or simple human error, your situation can quickly go from bad to worse. The National Practioner Data Bank reported that incidents of medical malpractice in the United States have dropped by about 4% in the last ten years. It remains, however, the cause of roughly 10% of all annual fatalities.
How likely am I to be a victim of a medical mistake in North Carolina?
If a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional caused your injury through dereliction, wrongdoing, or negligence, you are most likely entitled to collect financial compensation. If you have fallen victim to medical negligence, contact a respected North Carolina medical malpractice attorney from the law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can examine the facts of your case and develop a course of action that is appropriate to your circumstances.
In the meantime, the leading causes of medical malpractice cases in North Carolina are:
Improper Dose and Incorrect Medication
Recent studies have shown that, when being prescribed a new medication, the odds are as high as 25% that the prescriber made an error. The most common prescription drug errors are prescribing the wrong medication, prescribing the wrong dosage, failing to check for contraindications, and failing to take drug allergies into account.
When a physician fails to diagnose the patient with the correct condition or disease, the problem could be treated improperly, worsen, or go without treatment altogether. A misdiagnosis makes taking the best course of action impossible, save for blind luck, and creates new, serious health problems in the process.
Anything from contaminated equipment, failure to wash their hands, or poorly sterilized instruments could result in a healthcare worker causing injury to a patient. By not following infection control protocols, the patient is vulnerable to harmful germs, and bacteria, leaving them at risk of a major infection.
Surgical errors can occur through multiple factors, like poor training, improper procedures, carelessness, and miscommunication. A surgeon who is incompetent at his job could unwittingly leave a retained item (a piece of surgical equipment or another tool) inside the patient after an operation, endangering their recovery and possibly their life. Surgical errors can cause nerve damage, infections, and even death.
Falls are particularly prevalent in a medical environment, especially among senior citizens. If a patient experiences a fall-related injury caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider, such as improperly stored equipment, insufficient staff, or failure to assist, the medical organization can be held liable.
Disregarding Patient Concerns
In the event that a patient has a genuine concern regarding their health and the medical professional fails to take them seriously or disregards the concern, the patient could experience further injury. Common causes of this are usually a physician’s lack of experience, unwillingness to help, or a breakdown in communications. Even if a healthcare provider believes that the patient is a hypochondriac or is wildly exaggerating the problem, they have absolutely no grounds to refuse to help someone under their care no matter how trivial or imaginary they believe the problem to be. In the event that the patient’s fears do derive from a mental illness, that is also a medical condition that requires professional help.
Were You a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If negligence on the part of a medical professional resulted in your injuries, we encourage you to speak with a qualified North Carolina medical malpractice attorney. When you work with an experienced lawyer, you improve your odds of collecting the maximum amount of damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. Schedule a free, consultation by calling us at (833) 997-1774.