In the U.S., up to 19000 medical malpractice suits are brought against doctors. According to data from the US Department of Health and Human Resources, Ohio ranked fifth out of all the states for the number of malpractice cases brought during the three decades from 1990 to 2020. While some threats to patient care and safety are out of a healthcare practitioner’s hands, it is important to hold them accountable if they are responsible for medical malpractice. Forcing them to face responsibility for their actions not only ensures patients are properly compensated, but it can also ensure that similar mistakes are not repeated and patient safety is improved in the longer term.
Discovering Diagnostic Errors
Almost one third of medical malpractice payouts are made because of an error in diagnosis, the most common cause of malpractice lawsuits. Once a missed or delayed diagnosis has been recognised, filing a lawsuit promptly is essential due to the statute of limitations on such cases. In Ohio, this means plaintiffs have just one year to file a case in the state’s civil court system once the error has been discovered or the patient doctor relationship has ended, whichever happens sooner. Suing for medical malpractice can be complicated and lengthy even after meeting the deadline for filing. By seeking the help of a lawyer as soon as a misdiagnosis has been discovered, plaintiffs are able to present a thoroughly researched case and so have a better chance of holding those responsible for any error accountable.
Acquiring an Infection in Hospital
While hospitals in Columbus are consistently ranked highly for providing quality healthcare, there will still be some cases of patients acquiring infections during treatment simply because they are so common. Rates of hospital-acquired infection (HAI) are dropping, but at any one time, close to 3 out every hundred hospital patients will have at least one infection that is not associated with their original health issue. If an infection occurs a minimum of 2 days after admittance for treatment it is likely to be an HAI, and closer investigation may reveal if it was preventable. If this is the case, by bringing a malpractice suit, a patient could help to improve hospital safety in the future.
While hospitals in Ohio and throughout the US aim to provide the best care to patients, errors can still occur. With professional help, affected patients can determine if there has been a mistake in diagnosis or treatment and take the case further.