Differentiating between complications and medical errors

Patients in the greater Pittsburg area and around the nation have reason to be concerned about the safety of their healthcare and how to appropriate protect against medical errors. It only takes a minor oversight or surgeon mistake to cause severe and lasting repercussions. While the law allows people to seek compensation in the event that a medical error occurs, there are often disputes as to what truly is negligence.

Such is the topic of a recent article that asserts many medical malpractice claims are not appropriate. Rather, the article reports, risks are inherent in many medical situations whether effects from a medication, damage being incurred during a procedure or something else and that a person should not file a lawsuit simply because such a known risk came to fruition, especially when the possibility of it happening had been clearly communicated to them.

The article cited an example in which a woman underwent a process called ureteroscopy and was allegedly informed about all possible complications beforehand, including a potential splitting of the ureter. During the procedure, her ureter split and was repaired yet she filed a malpractice claim. The suit physician was found innocent of negligence in the end.

While such situations do occur, it must also be remembered that true medical errors also do occur and action can be taken when that happens. Working with the right legal professional can help you determine the difference between true malpractice and the occurrence of a known complication. If you suspect a doctor error has occurred, it may be worth discussing your case with an attorney to ensure you are protected.

Source: MPR, “Adverse Event Spurs Medical Malpractice Lawsuit,” October 14, 2013