You place an enormous amount of trust in your doctor when you aren’t well, and that trust has to grow with the severity of your illness. When there are serious stakes on the table, it’s important that doctors are doing the right things to make you better.
Tens of thousands of people die in the U.S. every year because of medical errors. While not every mistake proves fatal, you or a loved one may still have to endure suffering for the rest of your lives. It’s important to understand when the treatment you’re getting causes more harm than good.
Claims of medical malpractice in Iowa last year ranged from temporary to fatal, but there were some common causes throughout the state:
- Failed diagnosis: Doctors don’t always have the answer, but there are certainly times when they should get it right. Physicians coming up short for identifying, watching and treating diseases made up over a third of claims.
- Surgical procedure: Operations are a serious step in the course of any recovery, and doctors need to pay attention to the details. Surgeons that operated on the wrong side of a body, performed the wrong procedure or mistook one patient for another made up 17% of cases.
- Treatment complications: Treating a problem with a method that causes more damage, failing to follow-up or incorrectly applying the treatment can all have serious complications. This came in third for causing medical malpractice claims.
You hope that once you entrust your health to a doctor, recovery is on the horizon. But that trust may be broken when the care you receive makes matters worse. Understanding that medicine isn’t always right is an important first step to getting the help you need to heal.