It goes without saying that doctors, nurses, and other hospital professionals
play an important role in our society. When we are sick or in a life threatening
situation, we put all our trust in doctors and nurses to help make us
better. But even with their important role and life saving skill set,
these hospital professionals makes mistakes that can cause a great deal
of harm to patients.
Generally speaking, medical mistakes are not intentional. Typically they
are are result of a failure to practice medicine with a reasonable standard
of care. When that happens patients should understand that they should
be fairly compensated for any resulting damages. But how will you know
if you have been injured due to substandard care?
Public's Medical Malpractice Perceptions
study published by Harvard helps us understand what the overall perception about
medical malpractice is. While this study was done in Massachusetts, it
is applicable to Panama City medical malpractice cases as well.
One of the biggest takeaways from
Harvard's study is the public's experience with medical malpractice in general.
Of those polled on the question of whether they were involved in a medical
error or mistake, an overwhelming number of 75% said either they or someone
close to them was involved in medical error. And of that 75%, 13% claimed
that the medical error caused serious health consequences.
Study participants were also asked about the types of medical mistakes
they experienced; 51% of those studied said that they were misdiagnosed.
A surprising 38% reported that they were the victims of a wrong test,
surgery, or procedure. At the same time, patients said:
- they were not given clear instructions regarding their care (34%);
- they were given incorrect medication or doses (32%); or
- they suffered an infection due to a test, procedure, or surgery (32%).
When you think about it, these are truly stunning numbers.
Do People Report Medical Malpractice or Medical Errors?
An interesting part of the study was on whether people report medical malpractice
and who they reported mistakes to. Remember that 75% of those studied
reported being involved in a medical error, but only 54% of those people
reported it to anybody at all. Most of those who did report the error
did so to prevent it from happening to someone else, and this is important.
When you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice, seeking
compensation for the resulting injuries helps compensate you for your
pain and suffering, but just as important, it helps doctors and nurses
change how they treat patients in the future.
In fact, one of the primary purposes of medical malpractice law is to improve
the quality of care that doctors and nurses provide. If attorneys were
not allowed enforce a standard of reasonable care, patients would suffer
as a result. But too many people do not know what to do if they are injured
in a hospital. According to this study, 36% said they did not how to report
it or what to do about a medical mistake. That should not happen to you
or anyone close to you.