Back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a report estimating that preventable medical errors resulted in between 44,000 and 98,000 fatalities each year. Almost two decades later, it’s become clear that that staggering number is actually too low. Preventable adverse events likely total 1,000 deaths and 10,000 cases of serious complications per day. Numbers this high mean the healthcare system is failing too many people. Just ask Katherine Dean, who was awarded more than $4 million by a Bibb County jury after she lost her unborn son due to doctors’ failure to provide proper and timely medical care in their work for Central Georgia Women’s Health Center.
Errors can occur anywhere patients seek help, such as doctors’ offices, ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, urgent care centers and physical rehabilitation medical facilities. Hospitals are important healthcare resources, whether for planned treatment or in emergencies, but they, too, can make mistakes. A nonprofit organization that assigns grades to more than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals based on their ability to prevent errors, accidents, injuries, and infections recently gave an “A” rating to Coliseum Medical Centers, Coliseum Northside Hospital, and Fairview Park Hospital. Houston Medical Center in Dublin got a “B,” while Oconee Regional Medical Center and The Medical Center, Navicent Health each were rated a “C.” Check out the website to learn more about the specifics behind the ratings.
Medical malpractice encompasses any action (or lack of action) by a healthcare professional that deviates from accepted medical practices and injures the patient. It can be difficult to determine whether you have been the victim of medical malpractice because it comes in many shapes and forms including:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to fully evaluate a patient
- Failure to fully treat a patient
- Failure to monitor a patient
- Inappropriate treatment for the diagnosis
- Laboratory errors
- Mismanagement of medical tests
- Prescribing or administering incorrect medication
- Surgical errors.
One common sign is that prescribed treatments aren’t working. Ineffective treatments may mean that your condition was misdiagnosed, so consider getting a second opinion. Another situation to question is when a serious condition is diagnosed with one or two basic lab tests. Accurate diagnosis of a serious medical condition generally requires a range of tools, particularly a thorough exam and condition-specific testing. Also, if the treatment recommended for your condition seems more complicated and involved than necessary, it may be a sign of medical negligence.
If you think you may have been the victim of a medical mistake, or if you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the Georgia medical malpractice attorneys at The Mann Law Firm. We have over 50 years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Based in Macon, we believe that a mistake or omission that happens during medical treatment and leads to a patient’s injury is unacceptable. Contact us to discuss your unique situation by calling (478) 742-3381 or by filling out our online form.