What is Malpractice and how does it occur? Is taking a trip to the doctor worth it when medical malpractice which has been reported to be the third leading cause of death in the United States? Is this trip to the clinic for the simple flu or minor surgery worth the chance of death? Malpractice is a word to describe any treatment, in which there was a lack of treatment, or a mistake in in the practice of the doctor. This can also be described as a failure to use the degree of skill and profession, resulting in the injury, loss, or damage to the person receiving care. (Diversified Health Occupations page 57).
This negligent act can range from birth complications all the way to death. An example is a physician not administering a tetanus injection when a patient has a puncture wound. 12,000 deaths are from unnecessary surgery, 7,000 from medication errors, 20,000 from other error, 80,000 from infection in the hospital, and 106,000 from non-error adverse effects of medications. Medical malpractice can occur for many different reasons, usually a distraction, but can range from just a general mistake to lack of treatment. Miscommunication on which side the operation is to take place on or mishearing what I said can lead to this negligent act.
This is also listed as an unnecessary surgery or wrong-site surgery. Misdiagnosis can lead to death in a patient, if it’s not diagnosed fast enough or is diagnosed wrong. Doctors and surgeons on call will go hours without sleep, and will be exhausted when seeing patients. It’s a scary thought to have someone performing a surgery on the body and to be sleeping. An infection from not sterilizing an operating room before the surgery can lead to an infection. A wrong prescription for your disease may allow your disease take you to your demise. A delayed treatment can lead to an untimely death, such as in swine flu.
Leaving equipment in the body after surgery causing injury’s to other body parts. It is said every year 1,500 equipment pieces are left behind. (hsinjurylaw. com) Stated earlier malpractice cases can range from no harm to death, for Willie King though he lost his leg in an amputation in 1995. Though it wasn’t just one leg that was amputated, they amputated the wrong leg first. A chain of errors in communication had led to the wrong leg being marked for surgery. By the time they realized the mistake had been made it was too late to save Willie’s leg.
Studies luckily had shown that sooner or later both of his legs would have had to been amputated. Though he lost his leg early he was compensated 1. 2 million dollars for the mistakes made. (abcnews. com) in another case of 2005 Lawrence Ball, age 58, went to have a cancerous tumor removed from his lung. After the surgery he found out the lung was removed for no reason, because he didn’t have cancer. (rawjustice. com) Now Mr. Ball has lost his job due to this operation, and fears he lost many years of a happy retirement. In another case Donald Gable has a surgical tool left in his body.
Surgical tools can range from sponges, clamps, needles, and scalpels. This mistake happens to about 1 in 3,800 surgeries in this area. (saynotocaps. org) In Mr. Gable’s case though, he was left with a wire, going from his groin all the way to his chest. Now he is experiencing problems with clots where the wire was inserted. He now fears he will die from a clot like his father who died at age 40. In another case a women’s child was deprived of oxygen during child birth. The woman was two days late for an induction to labor. The baby had hypoxia or a lack of oxygen because the umbilical cord was being compressed by the contractions.
The contractions were happening to rapidly and were noticed. The amount of anesthesia would not allow her to push effectively in the second stage of her labor. The presiding doctor had been leaving the mother unattended to attend to her other affairs and appointments. When the baby was finally born he was born blue, lifeless, and floppy. Due to the hypoxia he now suffers from Cerebral Palsy or a condition of unimpaired muscle coordination. An eighteen million dollar was the settlement for this particular case. (anesilaw. com) Malpractice isn’t a cheap mistake either. Settlements can be made ranging in thousands to millions of dollars.
Doctors must also pay into a malpractice insurance, also known as personal liability insurance, insurance purchased by physicians and hospitals to cover the cost of being sued for malpractice. (Dictionary. com) Malpractice insurance is often one of the most expensive types of insurances that is supplied and bought. The insurance is mainly for those who have a private clinic, or own a hospital. The insurance is paid just like all other insurances, year round. This malpractice coverage is required by law. This insurance helps protect the physician form lawsuit. (Wisegeek. org. )
If you are the victim of malpractice, what do you have to do? Usually you find a lawyer, you show the evidence, and then go to court. Settlements are not always met, or given in cases. There is also a case when you have the settlement and the doctor feels guilty and gives you money as well. This is the case in Willie King where the doctor gave him $250,000, though no amount of money can replace this loss of being able to ever walk again. If you are victimized by malpractice is it worth your trip to the doctor? On one hand no it’s not because this could possibly mean more bills, more trips to the doctor, and more medications.
You will have to open up a case on the doctor or hospital. Court is not always as quick and speedy as we would like so there’s no telling how long it will take to get this settlement. This is more money for a case you may or may not win. Not to mention in some cases death. When death occurs that person is irreplaceable, there’s no amount of money able to replace that person. Taking a chance on going to the doctor and having malpractice done to you it is a scary thought. Though people may be scared of malpractice happening to them, if you are ill, you need to be checked out by a doctor.
You never know what illness you are coming down with, or if you have a sexually transmitted disease, or have cancer. If you have a deadly illness, you will die if you don’t get checked out, so it’s worth the risk of getting checked out. There are 315,515,958 people living in the United States. (census. gov) Doctors all over the country see thousands of the people so the chances of it happening to you are very slim. If you are still scared of it happening to you research the doctor and his past history, check to see if he has any problems in the past.
Malpractice is an irresponsible and unprofessional act that a physicians or surgeons can perform on you. The trip to the doctor for your average flu may not be worth taking a chance on it happening to you. If you have a serious condition that you could die from, what do you have to lose? Third leading cause of death or not the chances of it happening to you are very slim. You can’t live in fear thinking every bad thing will happen to you. Malpractice in all reality is a mistake, yes it’s a big mistake, but everyone makes mistakes. You make them, lawyers, firefighters, cops, and even parents.