Throughout New York, when a person suffers an illness, condition or injury in a hospital or healthcare setting and there is no clear explanation for it, the natural reaction is to think the medical professionals made some sort of error. This leads to accusations and medical malpractice lawsuits.
These are understandably viewed from the perspective of patients and their families. Still, simply because there was a negative outcome does not mean the medical professionals made a mistake. For a doctor, legal claims can be costly financially and with their reputation. With that, it is essential to know how to forge a defense.
Recent report discusses diagnostic errors
Newly released statistics regarding diagnostic errors in hospitals is shining a light on how often people are harmed. People who needed to be moved to the intensive care unit were impacted by a diagnostic problem in almost 25% of the cases. This is in line with a previous report in the late-1990s noting how many patients were harmed or lost their lives due to diagnostic missteps.
It is important to remember that systemic challenges were found to be a fundamental problem in a significant number of cases. Doctors who are facing legal claims need to be aware of this. Researchers looked at almost 2,500 random cases from various facilities. Of those, 550 patients dealt with a diagnostic error. Eighteen percent were harmed temporarily or permanently. Seven percent of patients who died had this noted as a factor.
Doctors are not always to blame
It is common for people to think about a legal claim after a poor medical outcome while in a hospital. These numbers indicate that some are due to mistakes on the part of doctors, healthcare professionals and the facility itself. Despite that, many cases are diagnosed accurately based on the information available at the time and the negative result is circumstantial without overt fault to be placed on the doctor.
For cases in which doctors are said to have made any type of mistake, it is imperative that they understand how to craft a viable medical malpractice defense. This is integral to continuing their career and avoiding the ramifications that come with claims of wrongdoing and missteps.