When you seek medical treatment, you place your trust in healthcare providers for the best care and advice. However, sometimes outcomes differ from expectations. Not all medical treatments’ risks are inherent; sometimes, negative outcomes stem from medical malpractice. Sadly, the American Medical Association reported that patients file approximately 20,000 malpractice complaints every year.
Knowing the often-overlooked signs of medical malpractice is important for recognizing whether you have received improper medical care.
Unusual symptoms post-treatment
Experiencing unusual or unexpected symptoms following a medical procedure or treatment could signal malpractice. For instance, if you suffer from excessive pain, infection or other complications that seem abnormal for your treatment, these may indicate a mistake during the procedure.
Changes in diagnosis
A sudden change in your diagnosis without a clear explanation can raise a red flag. For example, if doctors initially treat you for one condition and then suddenly tell you that you have been suffering from a different ailment, it might mean they made an incorrect initial diagnosis due to negligence.
Lack of improvement or worsening condition
If your condition fails to improve or worsens after treatment, this could indicate an error in your treatment or medication. While not every treatment guarantees success, a noticeable decline in your health following medical intervention could be a red flag.
Inconsistent or incomplete medical records
Your medical records should accurately reflect your treatment and condition. If you find inconsistencies or missing information in your records, it could indicate errors happened in your treatment. While this could happen due to human error, it could also be that your healthcare provider is attempting to cover up their errors.
Failure to receive informed consent
Healthcare providers must inform you of the risks associated with a treatment or procedure and get your consent before proceeding. Doctors must give you a thorough explanation of the risks and potential outcomes. Additionally, they cannot pressure you into having a treatment you do not want to do.
Recognizing the signs of medical malpractice involves being vigilant about your treatment and its outcomes. If you suspect medical malpractice, it is important to seek further medical evaluation and understand your rights as a patient. Remember, your health and safety are paramount, and you deserve proper and safe medical care.