Some of the stories about medical malpractice are so bizarre that it seems that these occurrences could never happen to you or a loved one. The most peculiar cases in recent history involve:
A doctor using a screwdriver to support a mans spine in place of medical grade titanium rods.
A surgeon removing the wrong leg of a patient in a botched amputation procedure.
A patient having a healthy lung removed due to a misdiagnosis of lung cancer.
A patient left on an IV so long that it damaged nerve cells in her ears and made her deaf.
However rare these circumstances may seem, medical malpractice is unfortunately becoming an epidemic in the United States and has been found to cause up to 98,000 deaths per year. The most common of these medical mistakes are medication errors. These drug-related injuries occur in the hundreds of thousands each year and they can result in extra medical costs, loss of wages, permanent disability, emotional trauma and even loss of life.
How do you make sure that an error or negligence does not happen to you? Firstly, the single most important thing is to be actively involved in your own care. Make sure you tell your doctor all your symptoms. Also, ask questions about treatment and testing that may be administered. Telling the doctor about your medical history is beneficial as well, since some hospitals or clinics may not have access to your personal file. When you visit a hospital you may be in a state of illness or debilitation so staying active in your health care may be difficult for you. If that is the case, make sure to bring an advocate who can articulate your needs and scrutinize the path of your care. Coordination and communication between you and your health care team is critical to preventing the avoidable mistakes and to combating negligence.
However, even after precautions, the standards of care may not be upheld or an error may be made. This could cost you or your loved ones dearly. If this happens, negative physical, emotional and financial effects can be compensated in select cases. To determine if a claim is appropriate the patient should contact an attorney with specialized experience in this part of the law. There are local Fort Worth injury lawyers and Fort Worth wrongful death attorneys available to examine your case and determine the next course of action. You can find them through Hart Laws Texas board certified advocates.