When you seek medical treatment, you expect your doctors to be able to help you heal. Like all Massachusetts patients, your ultimate hope is that when you leave the hospital, you’ll be on the road to a full recovery.
Since all medical procedures include inherent risk, it is critical that your doctor or surgeon (or both) talk to you ahead of time to explain any procedures or care you are going to receive and any known risks associated with it. The licensed care providers entrusted with your care are also obligated to take appropriate action to resolve problematic situations that arise that place you at risk for injury.
Adherence to safety standards should be a given
You should never have to wonder whether the doctors, nurses or other medical staff members tending to your needs are going to follow accepted standards of procedure. You should expect it. The following list includes some of the most common types of medical mistakes that are typically easily preventable and place you at great risk for injury:
- Medication errors. Nurses are often the ones who administer medication and must follow strict procedures to make sure they are administering the correct dosage.
- Prescribing the wrong type of drug for a particular condition or ordering drugs that should not be combined. Doctors can also be negligent regarding the medications you need to help you get well. While you may have no knowledge of the risks, any doctor licensed to prescribe medication should.
- When you undergo surgery, you can expect that a skilled surgeon is performing the operation. Sadly, serious and even fatal injuries can occur when surgeons make mistakes like operating on the wrong body part or leaving foreign objects inside a body.
- If your doctor or other medical care provider notices symptoms or issues that suggest you are at risk for injury, he or she should take immediate steps to provide available treatment. Delays in treatment or dismissing symptoms cause serious medical injuries in this state and others every year.
- Surprisingly, another error that happens all too often is mistaking chest tubes for feeding tubes.
- Sometimes a doctor might not agree with another doctor’s recommendation. If he or she fails to challenge the advice, you might be the one to suffer.
If you’re having surgery or receiving medical care and the medication or treatment doesn’t work, that’s one thing; however, if your doctor fails to diagnose your condition or fails to act to prescribe treatment typical to your condition and you suffer infection, illness or injury because of it, that’s an entirely different story.
Restitution for your suffering
Medical negligence happens when licensed professionals do not adhere to protocol or safety standards or otherwise act in ways that place their patients in harm’s way. Massachusetts law allows you to seek legal accountability against any person, people or company that failed to keep you safe while you were seeking medical care in this state.