One of the most important elements in a doctor-patient relationship is trust; but while this element is a requirement that leans on the patient’s side, the doctor’s duty, to keep this trust alive, is the provision of quality care.
The best ways of providing quality care are through timely treatment, correct diagnosis and effective medication plus, of course, taking time to really listen to patients’ complaints during initial consultation periods (many doctors have fallen into the practice of meeting and diagnosing patients only within 15 minutes, the duration of office visits accorded by many doctors to patients to enable them to meet as many patients as possible during the day).
Quality care, however, has become just a byword to many present day medical professionals (such as doctors, nurses and surgeons). When a doctor fails to live up to his or her responsibility, it leads to many different errors which make up what is identified as “medical malpractice.” These errors include wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis, delayed or wrong treatment, surgical errors, birth injuries, wrongful death, emergency room errors and hospital negligence, among others.
Most medical errors are definitely preventable; thus, it is a totally sad fact that despite its being such, it ends up claiming 98,000 lives in the US every year (this figure is based on a study made by the government’s Institute of Medicine, which also shows 15 million yearly occurrences of preventable medical errors in the US).
Hospital negligence, specifically, is a fault that applies to errors committed by any hospital employee (doctors, nurses, technicians and all other hospital personnel). Some examples of hospital negligence include: giving a patient the wrong medicine or the wrong dose of medicine; performing an unnecessary surgery or operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient; amputation of the wrong limb; leaving a sponge or surgical instrument inside a patient’s body; use of unsterilized instruments that eventually leads to infection; wrong dose of anesthesia; failure to provide timely treatment; and, failure to properly monitor a patient.
According to the website of the Pohl & Berk law firm, individuals who fall victim to the negligent acts of medical professionals and suffer injuries have the right to pursue legal civil actions against whoever is liable. Medical malpractice lawsuits, for the purpose of seeking claims for damages resulting from any injury, are meant to protect anyone seeking medical care from careless healthcare providers, as well as to encourage hospitals to actively prevent medical errors from happening by taking greater measures to protect their patients.
But though, pursuing legal actions may be an inherent right of all individuals, seeking the assistance of highly-skilled personal injury lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers of the law firm will definitely be in the best interest of the victim.