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For some people, being a victim of medical malpractice is either immediately obvious or becomes apparent in the days or weeks after their doctor visit, treatment, or operation. However, not all signs and symptoms that people experience after negligent care can be easily linked to medical malpractice.
If you or someone you love was recently treated for a health problem and you’re wondering if you’re a victim, here are five signs to watch out for during the coming weeks and months:
Sometimes, treatments and procedures are ineffective, and patients get worse, despite their doctors’ best efforts. But health worsening can also be a sign of medical malpractice, especially if it’s due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. If your condition didn’t improve or got worse after a treatment or procedure that was supposed to help, it may be because your healthcare provider was negligent.
Doctors are supposed to do everything they can, within reason, to help their patients recover and feel better. But negligent doctors may take a more hands-off or lackadaisical approach, allowing their patients’ conditions to worsen and their critical treatment windows to close. Many illnesses and diseases must be treated quickly after being diagnosed, which makes delayed treatments potential malpractice.
Surgery isn’t always successful, and no surgeon has a 100% success rate when operating. And while poor outcomes and even death are known and accepted risks of surgery, negligence-related outcomes aren’t. Common surgical medical malpractice incidents include operating on the wrong body part, performing unnecessary operations, and even leaving instruments and equipment inside a patient’s body.
Medication errors are another common form of medical malpractice. All medications have the potential to cause patients serious harm and health problems. They must be prescribed at the right dosage and to the right patients to be effective instead of harmful. But when doctors are negligent, patients may end up getting medications that put their health and even their lives at risk.
Although healthcare workers rarely admit fault when they make mistakes, especially to patients, it does occasionally happen. However, they will rarely admit to medical malpractice. But even a simple confession or admission of a mistake can be enough to get the ball rolling on a medical malpractice claim—especially if it’s paired with tell-tale symptoms of negligent care, such as pain or worsening health.
It’s important to trust your gut feeling when you’re being treated by a doctor for a health problem. Although you may not have a medical degree, you are your own best advocate, and if something doesn’t seem right, whether it’s before or after your treatment, say something. Sometimes, medical malpractice takes time to show up, and the signs may not be any of the common ones listed above.
It can help to get a second opinion, and if the second opinion greatly differs from the first, it may be a sign that your doctor diagnosed or treated you negligently. This is especially true if your doctor seemed uninterested or uncaring about your condition, didn’t seem to order enough tests, or failed to properly exam you.
It can be difficult to determine if what you experienced after being treated is medical malpractice or a potential but known bad outcome. There’s a fine line between malpractice and a procedure or treatment that didn’t work or made you feel worse; knowing which is which requires experience and knowledge of medicine and the law.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we have both. We’ve helped hundreds of clients who were harmed by negligent healthcare providers get full compensation after treatments and procedures that caused new illnesses or injuries, and we can help you, too.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our Ohio medical malpractice lawyers are ready to work hard to get your family the money you’re owed.
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