Most people are aware that medical mistakes occur. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the error, the resulting injuries can be devastating. The errors can take many forms including the failure to diagnose, birth injuries and surgical error. According to a recent study, where surgical errors are concerned, these incidents are happening more often than they are reported.
They study, which was conducted by the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada and the Canadian Medical Protective Association, looked at 2,974 medical malpractice complaints and settlements over a 10 year period. The analysis found that surgical errors were to blame for death or catastrophic injuries in approximately a third of the cases. Poor decision making on the part of physicians was deemed a major factor in a majority of those situations.
This is problematic since while matters such as leaving foreign objects inside patients and post-op complications are tracked, judgement errors and improper diagnoses on the part of physicians, are not. In addition, there is a tendency in the medical community to stay quiet about medical errors that do occur.
In some situations when a patient is injured or dies as a result of a medical error, the actions rise to the level of negligence that justifies filing a medical malpractice claim. The standard that will be applied is whether the actions of the doctor or other health care professional meet the reasonable standard of care that another medical processional in the same profession would adhere to. A lawyer who has experience with these claims can help determine whether this course of action makes sense.