Many Pennsylvania residents have an expansive definition of who they consider family. Family may include not only the traditional persons typically thought of, but others as well who are close loved ones.
You often hear doctors or hospitals complain that the prospect of being sued by patients causes them to practice "defensive medicine," i.e., to order more tests and drive up costs that would otherwise be avoided if they were not worried about medical malpractice lawsuits. A recent study by the Rand Institute published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine says that is not true. The study looked at thousands of patients who were treated in the Emergency Room in three states (Georgia, South Carolina and Texas) that had recently changed their law to make it much harder to sue a doctor or a hospital, and they compared the number of tests ordered to a similar group of patients in states that made it easier to sue doctors. If physicians truly where practicing "defensive medicine," then you would expect that the number of tests and medical costs to go down after the state passed laws to reduce the threat of a lawsuit. However, this new study showed that the change in the law did not cause doctors to order less tests; instead, the number of tests ordered was generally the same both before and after laws were passed which made it harder to sue doctors.
Medical errors have made many headlines in the past year. In some cases, defendants are able to receive compensation for their injuries or losses. These can result from many situations including medication errors, missed or incorrect diagnoses, problems occurring during births and more. Surgical errors are another common form of medical malpractice that Pennsylvania patients can face. A single surgeon mistake can result in sometimes extreme situations.
Every day, many residents throughout Pennsylvania undergo surgical procedures for a variety of reasons. Every surgery, no matter how minor or severe, carries with it a certain level of risk. For too many patients, however, the risks involve preventable problems such as a surgeon mistake or actions of negligent operating room staff. Having a piece of surgical equipment left inside a patient is among the top forms of surgical errors that can cause serious injury to victims.
Around the nation and in Pennsylvania, medical errors have received a lot of focus recently. Recent reports have brought to light the serious nature of malpractice incidents noting that as many as 440,000 people in the United States potentially die each year from various forms of medical negligence. Surgical errors are among the leading cause of serious injury or even death. The acts of a careless surgeon can leave patients struggling for the rest of their lives.
Pennsylvania, like all other states, has its own set of laws surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits. Some states place limits on the amount of money that victims can be awarded while others have no limits whatsoever. Statutes of limitations also vary and govern the time periods in which people may bring suits forth after injuries have been allegedly sustained. These laws can include everything from birth injuries to surgical errors.
Medical malpractice can take on many forms. In some cases, an incorrect medication or dose of a medication can be dispensed. Other times, communication between healthcare workers can lead to a missed or incorrect diagnosis. Surgical errors are yet further types of situation that leads to a serious injury or even death. A piece of surgical equipment left inside a patient is one of the most common types of surgical errors in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.
With growing publicity about the rate of medical errors in the United States, more and more people have become aware of the scope of this problem. Pennsylvania residents must simultaneously trust their physicians and other care providers yet must always remain alert for potential problems. One surgeon mistake can lead to multiple subsequent problems.
Citizens all around the United States including in Pennsylvania are aware of the risks of medical errors. New studies show that such instances may be the third leading cause of death in the country. Whether due to birth injuries, medication errors, surgical errors or something else, the types of serious injury and trauma that can result is great.
When trust in medical providers turns out to be unearned and a medical error is discovered, Pennsylvania patients have reason to be concerned and upset. These cases can involve many different problems including the wrong medication being prescribed, a missed diagnosis, surgical errors and more. Depending upon the situation, an individual healthcare professional can be held responsible and other times the potential responsibility is sharable between many parties.