During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have been overworked, causing many to wonder if they are still receiving the care to which they are entitled. For those who are wondering if medical malpractice might have taken place, there are a few warning signs that everyone should note.
First, there cannot be medical malpractice without some sort of harm or damage taking place. A doctor might deviate from the expected standard of care; however, this doesn’t mean that medical malpractice has occurred. Unless there is some sort of harm to the patient, there cannot be medical malpractice.
Of course, hospitals are more likely to make a mistake in certain situations. If the hospital is understaffed for the number of patients they have, this could lead to a serious mistake. Some of the most common mistakes that stem from medical malpractice include prescribing the wrong medication, not reading charts properly, forgetting to check in on patients, and prescribing the wrong dose for a given medication.
In other cases, medical malpractice might be revealed when a second opinion is markedly different from the first one. Many patients end up seeking a second opinion to make sure the first one was correct. While the second opinion isn’t always going to be identical, it also shouldn’t be wildly different from the first one. If the second opinion is way different, it is likely that one of the doctors was mistaken. Again, this cannot lead to medical malpractice unless there was some sort of harm.
Finally, some patients think that they might be receiving a treatment they don’t need. Maybe the treatment isn’t working correctly or a patient was subjected to a treatment that was invasive when, in reality, it wasn’t necessary. In this case, medical malpractice might have taken place.
While medical malpractice isn’t common and the vast majority of doctors will advocate for the best interests of their patients, this isn’t always the case. It is important for patients to make sure they request copies of their medical records so they can be examined for signs of medical malpractice if something has gone wrong. Every patient deserves to be protected by the doctors who take care of them to the best of their abilities.