Last month was Medical Malpractice Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA). The goal of recognizing July as Medical Malpractice Month is to inspire awareness and encourage transparency in the health care field. As an organization, NMMAA hopes to “end the silence” of people who have been injured or lost loved ones because of medical negligence.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Most people trust medical professionals unequivocally, but it is important to remember that doctors and nurses are human beings and thus, capable of error. When a healthcare provider falls below the "standard of care" and significantly impacts a patient’s life, they can be held responsible. Some common types of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis that leads to the delay of treatment or mistreatment.
- Failure to diagnose and treat serious, sometimes life-threatening illnesses.
- Birth injuries that mentally or physically disable newborns.
- Surgical errors, such as amputating the wrong leg (yes, this actually happened) or forgetting surgical instruments inside a patient.
- Medication mistakes, like overprescribing, providing insufficient instruction, and making incorrect drug recommendations.
While it may be hard to believe this actually happens, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. John Hopkins estimates that more than 250,000 people die in the U.S. from medical errors, and countless more are injured.
How Can We Hold the Medical Field Responsible?
Awareness campaigns like Medical Malpractice Awareness Month are a fantastic first step in holding medical professionals accountable and ensuring they meet the standard of care. However, when errors are made, patients must be protected. If you or someone you know has been affected by medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. Don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 398-2277 or fill out a contact form today. A free consultation with Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. may be the first step to getting the justice and peace of mind you deserve.