Some types of medical malpractice, like a surgical error, happen all at once. Others take place over weeks or even months, spiraling into a pattern of behavior that leaves patients worse off than when they first sought treatment. That’s why all patients should be able to identify these warning signs of medical malpractice.
The warning signs below can be difficult to identify and painful to address. You trust your doctor with your health, and it can be uncomfortable to go against their advice, especially if you’ve known them for a long time.
The most important thing to remember is that you are in control at the doctor’s office. If you suspect something is off, you must decide whether to get a second opinion or seek legal advice.
Four Common Warning Signs of Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis is a two-fold problem. First, it means either you’re being treated for a condition you don’t have or that the actual cause of your ailment is going untreated. Second, the treatment plan for a misdiagnosed illness could result in adverse side effects that make your condition worse and require more treatment.
If your condition is getting worse, but your doctor continues with the same diagnosis and treatment plan, it’s more likely to be a misdiagnosis or other kind of medical negligence. Medical science is observable and repeatable; if you get a second opinion and the doctor can’t find any evidence of your ailment, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Incorrect or Excessive Testing
While testing is crucial to understanding the full extent of your ailments, excessive testing can be both expensive and dangerous. Testing should be progressive, meaning it starts with low-detail tests and works up to more thorough tests as needed. For example, someone with a broken bone typically starts with an X-Ray and gradually works up to an MRI.
If your doctor orders too many tests or tests that aren’t related to your condition, it may be a warning sign of medical malpractice. If your doctor frequently sends you to a specialist or lab and then requests a follow-up appointment with you later in the week, it’s more likely to be medical malpractice.
You should also be cautious of the amount of radiological testing you receive. The radiation from frequent CAT Scans or X-Rays can cause long-term complications, including cancer. If your doctor wants bi-weekly CAT scans or blood tests, it may be time for a second opinion.
The majority of American adults take daily prescription medication. Pills have become so commonplace that many don’t think about how more medications will impact their health.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are a huge issue. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 1-in-5 injuries or deaths that occur in hospitals are due to ADRs. Before taking a new medication, make sure your doctor fully understands your medical history, allergies, and current medications. These factors can have an enormous impact on your body’s reaction to new drugs.
Be especially careful if you’re taking opioids or other pain medications. Without careful monitoring, it’s easy to develop a physical addiction. If your doctor seems to give you excessive pain medication and refills, it may be time to explore other options.
Generally speaking, one of the clearest warning signs of medical malpractice is if you follow your doctor’s advice and your condition not only doesn’t get better, it gets worse.
If your ailment worsens to the point where you are incapacitated or hospitalized, you should speak to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can review all of the facts leading up to your hospitalization and act on your behalf to pursue justice for your pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love experienced suffered due to medical malpractice, let us pursue justice on your behalf. If you’d like an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney from the Moore Law Firm to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (513) 232-2000.