When medical errors are overlooked or ignored by medical professionals, patients risk further injury or death from complications due to lack of proper treatment.
Deadly Medical Mistakes
Ignored medical mistakes are often deadly for patients who fail to seek proper medical attention. Although medical mistakes may arise through a variety of situations, the majority are linked to diagnosis, improper treatments, and failure to notify patients.
Diagnostic errors are one of the most frequent safety problems in health care. According to medical reports, major diagnostic errors are found in up to 20% of autopsies, suggesting that 40,000 to 80,000 patients die each year from diagnostic errors in the United States. Failure to recognize symptoms of conditions, omitting or ignoring patient history, and misreading laboratory results commonly contribute to diagnostic errors.
Improper Medical Treatment
Improper medical treatment often includes prescribing incorrect medications or dosages, failure to order proper testing, performing unnecessary procedures, surgical errors, inadequate follow-up or aftercare, and premature discharge from a medical facility. Improper medical treatments can cause significant harm or death in mistreated patients.
Failure to Warn Patients
Medical professionals have a “duty of informed consent.” This means a professional must warn patients of dangers related to diagnosed health conditions, treatments, and prescription medications. When a patient is warned of possible risks, he or she has a right to accept or refuse recommended treatments. If a patient is not warned of possible risks, and unknowingly proceeds with recommended treatments, the medical professional may be held liable for related injuries.
When healthcare professionals and hospitals ignore medical mistakes, injured patients have the right to pursue legal action based on negligence through a medical malpractice lawyer. A patient must show proof of injury and proof that the injury was caused by negligent medical actions. An unfavorable diagnosis or poor doctor/patient relationship does not constitute negligence. A patient must prove that a doctor or hospital’s negligent actions or omissions caused the patient’s injury. If a patient dies due to medical mistakes, family members have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the patient’s injury, or when the injury was first realized by the patient, or two years from the patient’s death.