Why are physicians get sued?
Physicians are medical professionals who gives diagnosis to people's illnesses and treat them if it is a general disease and recommend them to a specialists if it is a specific condition in a body, they give long term care of someone and has a record of their current and even previous health standing. But sometimes, they commit mistake or even blunder that oftentimes results in injuries and death of a patient, that is collectively called medical malpractice.
Oftentimes for inexperienced physicians, they commit misdiagnosis, a type of medical malpractice. It is not surprising for most and new physicians because of their occupation description and it is what they basically do and only a matter of presence of mind and accountability for that type of medical malpractice to occur. And, for people to follow, according to American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), these are the characteristics of most medical malpractice:
- failure to achieve the standard of care
- injury caused by negligence and incompetence
- injury sustained has caused significant damage and even patient has lost the ability to make living
With that said, misdiagnosis pertains as the adverse effect of negligent and inadequate care to the patient that has dealt harm and damage to the patient, may it be observable or not. Specifically, this refers to the inaccurate of raw diagnosis or treatment to a certain health condition or disease. As the term is wide and ambigous, it comprises multiple causes for physicians get sued for medical malpractice. Some of its known causes are:
- Infections from Unsteriled instruments
Others refer it as "healthcare-acquired infections", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found out that every 31 hospitals, there is one of them that has reported case of healthcare-acquired infections or infections from hospitals. This is explained as infections from infected person can spread really fast among patients, medical staff and people inside the hospital and left unchecked and may lead to serious complications.
- Birth Injuries
A physician's mistake or negligence during a labor, delivery or initial post-natal care can potentially result in the sustenance of the baby of significant injury, permanent disability or even death, this can also be true for the mother who is in her delivery. The physician and his midwives should be careful when giving instructions and when executing required steps for a proper delivery.
Medication error or mismedication can may be in a form of either; as a result of misdiagnosis where the physician gave correct medicine for the wrong condition, a failure to check medication history of the patient before recommending another or simply wrong dosage. According to World Health Organization (WHO), one death is recorded every day and 1.3 million people are injured because of mismedication in United States yearly.
- General Surgeons' Surgical Errors
According to MDLinx, the most involved and mentioned physicians are general surgeons in malpractice lawsuits. With lack of preparation, presence of mind and negligence, surgical errors happen often and consists of incision on the wrong site of the body, unnecessary bleeding and unsecure sealing, and bad usage of anesthesia. Some effects of surgical errors are cognitive damage, temporary or long term disabilities and even death.
In respect to physicians' retrospect of being involved in medical malpractice lawsuits:
- 225,000 people die yearly mainly because of every form of medical malpractice ranges from overdose or lack of dose to misdiagnosis in United States.
- Unfortunate enough that patients who have suffered medical malpractice doesn't pay attention or even have knowledge that they can file a claim against the institution or to the medical professional as only 2% of them ever file a medical malpractice for compensation.
- In 2002, 195,000 hospital deaths were apprently caused by medical malpractice or any form of medical errors and numbers has marginally increased overtime.
- A study shows that 12,000 patients have die from unnecessary surgery annually.
- According to Journal of the American Medical Association, 106,000 patients have died each year because of mismedication.
- 1.5 million of those number of patients have suffered significant injuries from these medical errors.