When we go to the hospital, we expect good care and attention from the people we trust to save our lives, and 9 times out of 10 we get exactly what we were looking for. However, it doesn’t work out this way for everyone. It seems as though medical practices in the first place are getting more and more inaccessible to people the world over. So, considering the emergency and public services are working overtime servicing the world’s needs, why are medical negligence cases so common when we read the news?

Hundreds of millions of surgeries are performed every year across the world, and about 50 million of those occur in the US. With such an astronomical number gracing our global reports each year, it’s no wonder that some go wrong or not as planned. However, knowing what medical negligence occurs the most is a good way to try and avoid it.

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The Most Common: An Infection

Each year, this reigns strong in our hospitals and homes. Infections happen to most of us, as it’s incredibly easy to get a cut dirty or contract a cold from just being around somebody else. Yet, the use of antibiotics in the wrong way can exacerbate this, and thus it’s this kind of negligence that garners the court cases. MRSA is a famous example of poor hygiene in hospitals, and thus it’s ever present on our minds when we receiving surgery or therapy for something.

Poor hygiene is the most common cause of an infection, and preparing against one means you need to check your incision every day during your recovery process. Take this to your doctor if you do develop something, as they can easily provide you with antibiotics to combat it. You want to avoid something turning septic, as this is when real damage occurs, and when a court case can be filed. So in general, if you notice something going wrong in your healing stage after a major surgery or a minor accident, it’s definitely worth a visit to the doctor. As we’re not doctors ourselves, it’s always safer to get something checked if it doesn’t look right or is causing us discomfort.

When a Misdiagnosis Happens

Back in 2014, it was estimated that roughly 12 million patients a year were misdiagnosed, and that’s just in the US. With this statistic alone, we can see that when it comes to the wide world of medical errors, this is one of the easiest mistakes for a doctor to make, and is becoming more and more prevalent around the globe due to ever-changing conditions. A lot of symptoms have crossed over when it comes to different diseases or conditions, and sometimes minimizing of these or maximizing of them can occur when you visit your doctor’s office. It can cause both minor and major damage, and the long-term effects of a misdiagnosis can leave people with scars for life.

It varies from doctor to doctor, but common misdiagnoses include conditions such as cancer, depression, and fibromyalgia. Often deep-seated issues like that of endometriosis and celiac disease join the list, as these cannot be physically checked out in the short span of time a doctor has when you visit them. Another factor in misdiagnoses is the patient themselves, as an incomplete history and own opinions can influence the doctor’s decision on top of everything else.

To help avoid a misdiagnosis, if you feel you’ve experienced one, make sure you get a second opinion and keep going until you find something that works.

When Something is Left Behind

A lot of the time, proper attention may not be paid to a patient due to long waiting times and short diagnosis or surgery times. With more and more people coming to the ER, and a bad doctor to patient ratio, there’s a huge chance a mistake may occur. Often referred to as contamination, having a surgical implement left inside your body after a surgery is over is number two on the top medical malpractice claims list. It’s not nice to think about, but often something from the surgery or medical procedure can be left behind after you’re discharged from the hospital’s care. Foreign objects often come in the form of swabs or needles, and your body will immediately let you know about them.

The amount of suffering a person may or may not experience from such an event can vary, but it’s always treated seriously in a court of law. Damage compensation in the case of a foreign object is usually high, as incidents like these are referred to as ‘never events’ meaning they simply shouldn’t happen and are perfectly avoidable! That means the damage and pure negligence here can be astounding and rather shocking to a jury.

Can You Always Sue in the Case of Medical Negligence?

Usually yes, but a lot of people don’t realize they can sue because they’ve been treated wrongly during surgery or aftercare. Sometimes you can’t sue a doctor specifically, seeing as a lot of them don’t work under a permanent contract for a hospital, but you can accuse the hospital itself in these cases.

You’ll need to have a clear and strong case of your injuries, so make sure you document them properly and speak to a solicitor that has extensive knowledge in this area. Take photographs of all the injuries that are visible and keep them for the file, and do this as soon as you realize you want to pursue this kind of case. Then ask for your medical records, which you innately have a right to and can even appeal against a denial decision if the office says no, and go from there.

Medical negligence doesn’t occur usually, and doctors will never stop being trustworthy professionals at the end of the day. But it is important to acknowledge that mistakes and accidents happen even in the healthcare sector, and knowing how to spot them and what to do if they do occur is essential.