When medical mistakes happen, the consequences can be dire. Fatalities, head injuries, burn injuries and other serious personal injury can occur when medical practitioners make errors. When health professionals are negligent or reckless, causing mistakes, victims can seek help. The law provides redress in these cases that can be vital in giving a victim the resources to seek medical attention and help for the complications caused by the error.
Unfortunately, many victims are not aware of their rights and, in fact, are not always certain when medical malpractice has taken place. Some red flag signs of medical malpractice and error include:
1. A worsening of your condition. It may take some time for your condition to improve with treatment. However, health care professionals should give you a sense of how long you may need to wait to see improvement. If within that timeframe you have not seen improvement or if you have gotten worse, seek a second opinion.
2. Your diagnosis is logical given your symptoms. If you notice that your symptoms do not seem to indicate the diagnosis you have been given, that may be a sign of misdiagnosis. Ask your health care provider how he or she reached your diagnosis or seek a second opinion. Getting treatment for a condition you do not have can be dangerous, especially if your actual condition continues to be untreated.
3. You have common symptoms but the diagnosis you have been given is a rare or uncommon condition. You may have indicators that suggest a rarer ailment. Ask your doctor to help you understand how your diagnosis was reached. If your diagnosis still does not make sense, seek a second opinion..
4. Your diagnosis is based on a lab test alone. Physicians and other practitioners should consider your symptoms as well as tests when diagnosing. Ask to have tests run again or at the very least ask to have your tests checked independently by a second lab.
5. Usually, the diagnosis you received is based on a test you have not been given. Ask for the test to be administered or ask your physician why you did not receive the test.