When you trace the origins of medicine, there’s a kind of eeriness about it. It was mostly experimental in nature. Experiments were carried out on cadavers, and for the most part, the earliest ‘doctors’ were simply trying to figure out the makeup of the human anatomy. Even when they did finally figure it out, operations were carried out on live patients. Anesthetic was non-existent, let alone morphine.
The Elixir Of life
However, today we live in an era where living forever is now a possibility. But as if prolonging human life wasn’t enough, we go on to sue doctors for ‘professional’ malpractice. Whilst this might seem unfair at first, it makes sense. Which is why there are common medical mistakes to look out for in the event that your suffer personal injury at the hands of a medical professional.
Common Medical Mistakes To Look Out For
- Being Mistaken For someone else. Your fate: donating a kidney when you were scheduled for an appendix removal. Double whammy!
- Surgical implements being left inside your body. Serious possibility of infection.
- Incorrect administration of anesthetic. Wake up in the middle of an operation! Could be fatal if patient falls into shock.
- Wrong medical prescriptions. Prescriptions get mixed up and you end up addicted to propofol.
- Delayed treatment. Mostly common in congested public health care facilities.
- Improper or inadequate post-operative monitoring.
- Improper diagnosis. Your doctor says you have cancer but in actual fact you’re experiencing an easily treatable bowel infection. All those months of chemotherapy, for nothing!
- Use of contaminated surgical tools.
- The list is endless.
The Standard Of Care: Reasonable Expert
When claiming damages for personal injury brought about by an operation gone wrong, you must prove negligence. As such, the test for negligence is that of the reasonable person. The question is, “would a reasonable person had acted differently in the circumstances?” Primarily this is an objective test.It sets a standard of care reasonably expected in the medical profession.
Foreseeability and Preventability of Harm
The final nail in the coffin would be to prove -with the help of expert medical opinion- that a reasonable medical professional would be able to foresee the possibility of his conduct injuring another -and takes steps to prevent it. It is only then that liability arises and you can sue successfully -assuming that you can prove all the other elements of a tort.