When a doctor is treating a patient, they have a duty to provide medical care that meets the standard of care accepted by the medical community. In an ideal world, every doctor would meet this standard and would go above and beyond to make sure their patients’ needs are met. Unfortunately, in the real world, some physicians do not exercise the best judgment when it comes to treating their patients. As a result, doctors make mistakes, some of which lead to permanent injury and even death.
One of the most common medical mistakes made occurs in the diagnostic stage before treatment even begins. Doctors are required to carefully review all symptoms, come up with a list of possible causes for these symptoms, and eliminate possibilities by administering medical tests. A doctor’s failure to consider a condition, failure to administer appropriate test, failure to diagnose, delaying diagnosis, or misdiagnosis of a condition can all constitute medical mistakes if a reasonable doctor in the same circumstances would have acted differently. Doctors may also prescribe the wrong treatment, which is typically the result of a misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis.
Another common mistake is prescribing the wrong medication to a patient or prescribing the wrong dosage of the correct medication. If the wrong medication or wrong amount of medication is given to a patient, catastrophic injury may occur.
Thirdly, doctors may make mistakes when operating on a patient. Operating on the wrong part of the body, performing surgery on the wrong patient, leaving surgical tools inside a patient during surgery, causing nerve damage, administering excessive amounts of anesthesia, or performing the wrong procedure are all possible surgical errors that could result.
While a medical error of some kind is generally a requirement to file a medical malpractice claim, not all mistakes necessarily lead to a successful lawsuit in Georgia. In addition to proving there was a breach of professional duty, the patient must also show that the doctor’s negligence caused them additional harm or injury. An attorney specializing in medical malpractice claims can review your case and determine whether you have a strong claim for malpractice. If you decide to proceed with your claim, you may be able to recover damages to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.