What is Medical Malpractice? Professional malpractice is essentially professional negligence.
Since patients depend on doctors for all their healthcare needs, physicians have a fiduciary duty toward their patients.
Doctors must set aside all other priorities, especially making money, and only do what is best for their patients.
In order to make money, many doctors are so busy that “they don’t care and they don’t have the time,” according to one prominent physician.
Patient care takes a backseat to scheduling as many appointments as possible and making as much money as possible.
Because of the high standard of care, and because of the blatant disregard that some doctors show for their patients, a New York personal injury attorney might be able to obtain substantial damages in these cases.
In addition to compensatory damages for medical bills and emotional distress, these damages normally include additional punitive damages. In this post, we’ll examine the types of medical malpractice claims we most frequently handle.
Punitive damages are not just a matter of money.
These additional damages, which are available if there is clear and convincing evidence of recklessness, convince doctors to adjust their priorities and focus on patient health instead of the almighty dollar.
Always get a second opinion. Overall, doctors misdiagnose about a fifth of their patients. 80 percent is a passing grade in high school, but it’s a failing grade when the doctor has a fiduciary duty.
Misdiagnosis usually means missing a condition the patient has or telling patients they are sick when they are not.
Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- Cancer: Survival rates for this illness have increased significantly since the 1990s. But that improvement largely hinges on prompt and proper diagnosis, which is absent in many cases. Typically, doctors see cancer as a lifestyle or genetic illness. So, unless the patient has clear risk factors, cancer is not on the doctor’s radar.
- Head Injuries: Physicians often look for signature symptoms in diagnosis matters. In terms of head injuries, that means unconsciousness and vomiting. But not all victims exhibit these symptoms. As a result, many people do not get the treatment they need, and their head injuries worsen.
- Heart Disease: This illness combines these two problems. Unless patients have heart disease risk factors, mostly a poor health regimen and family history of heart disease, most doctors believe the patient has another illness. And, many heart attack patients do not have signature symptoms. For example, many females do not experience severe chest pains.
Misdiagnosis is tied to money, at least in many cases.
Only about a third of doctors bother to ask patients why they came in. As a result, doctors have almost no information about the patient’s condition.
Compounding this problem, many doctors do not run a full battery of diagnostic tests. They are afraid the insurance company will not pay for them.
It is hard to believe that doctors make mistakes like performing the wrong operation on the wrong patient or leaving something like gauze inside a patient’s body.
But in busy operating rooms where the priority is to operate on as many patients as possible, such mistakes are all too common.
These errors are negligent in any context, but particularly if there is a fiduciary duty involved.
Mistakes also happen during recovery. Sepsis and other infections often rage through hospitals.
A defective product, such as a Bair Hugger warming blanket, often causes such outbreaks. The BHWB sucks air from the ground through a heater in order to warm the blanket.
Everyone likes warm blankets, but the air near the floor is usually dirty.
These bacteria often cause a fatal infection. Device manufacturers are usually liable for such damages.
In these situations, medical negligence often has its roots in substandard prenatal care. Specifically, many doctors fail to properly address shoulder dystocia.
SD infants are too large to drift down the mother’s birth canal. When these infants get stuck, doctors only have a few minutes to deliver them.
Like many of us, when doctors get desperate, they make poor decisions. That usually means a risky mechanical birth aid, like:
- Forceps: These surgical instruments are essentially giant salad tongues. If the baby is lodged in the mother, the doctor grabs the baby’s head and tries to pull the baby out of the mother. Most of these babies suffer serious head injuries.
- Episiotomy: Once upon a time, doctors routinely cut the mother’s perineum (area between the anus and genitals) to expand the birth canal. Professional organizations now advise against these incisions, because they often cause uncontrollable bleeding.
- Vacuum Extractor: This gadget is forceps on steroids. The doctor attaches a surgical vacuum to a baby’s head and tries to suck the child out of its mother. Once again, serious head injuries are usually the end result.
If the baby is stuck, the umbilical cord often wraps itself around the baby’s neck.
The resulting hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) causes cerebral palsy.
Medical malpractice is a very serious problem. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC.