In the USA, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed is declining. There are around 50% fewer claims made now against MD/Dos than there were 18 years ago. However, it is still an issue that concerns both patients and practitioners.
The last thing a medical professional wants is to be cited in a medical malpractice lawsuit. To be able to practice, they have had to spend many years studying and training. Usually, they have entered the profession mainly because they want to help people. So, the majority do their very best to look after their patients.
But, the truth is nobody is infallible. Mistakes are made and if a patient suffers an injury as a result, they are, understandably, likely to sue. How likely depends on what happened.
Being misdiagnosed and other issues with a diagnosis are most likely to result in a lawsuit. Understandably, someone who discovers too late that they have a life-threatening condition will feel aggrieved and want to take action. The same is true of a patient that has ended up suffering years of unnecessary pain as a result of a misdiagnosis.
Modern anesthesiology techniques, training and equipment mean that things rarely go wrong when putting a patient under for a medical procedure. But, when it does the results are usually extremely traumatic. Being conscious enough to feel what the surgeon is doing during an operation is something no patient is going to forget. Again, it is understandable that they want to take legal action after having an experience like that.
Errors made during childbirth
Giving birth to a child should be a time of joy for both parents. But, unfortunately, things can get complicated. When they do, the mother or the baby can be injured. If that injury occurs due to negligence, the chances of a lawsuit being bought are relatively high. Parents quite rightly expect their children to be properly cared for before they are born and beyond. When that does not happen, their paternal instincts kick in and they sue.
Errors made by surgeons
Out of all of the medical professionals, general surgeons, are the most likely to be sued. This is partly because what they do is by its very nature inherently risky. Often, procedures are very complex and the patient is in a very vulnerable state. So, a lot can go wrong and when it does the consequences for the patient can be very serious. This makes it more likely that they or their family will file a lawsuit when they learn about the error.
The biggest cause of medical negligence
It surprises many people that with all of the advances in technology that the above issues still occur as often as they do. If you want to know more about why that is, this article makes for interesting reading. It reveals that one of the leading causes is physician burnout. Then goes on to explain how this issue could be dealt with and the risks reduced for all concerned.