In Tucson and elsewhere, medical malpractice occurs far more frequently than most laypeople realize. Generally, medical malpractice only comes to light when a serious incident occurs. That’s because the general public doesn’t understand what really goes on behind the scenes in hospitals and clinics. If they did, they would probably be far more concerned.
Yet, people who work in health care have a more realistic view of medical malpractice. When questioned informally, nearly every doctor, nurse and medical technician has plenty of anecdotes about treatments gone wrong, medication errors, and botched surgeries. After all, health care professionals are only human, and anyone can make a mistake.
The unlucky few
Still, statistics show that, each year in the U.S., somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 American patients die of preventable health-care errors. And, those same statistics also suggest that only around 5% of doctors are responsible for more than half of all medical malpractice claim payouts.
Red flags that signal possible medical malpractice
Given the seriousness of this issue, it’s important that patients and family members pay careful attention to their medical progress. Based on input from seasoned health-care professionals who’ve seen the warning signs before, there are several clues that may signal potential trouble ahead for patients.
Complete Blood Count (CBC) test results are elevated
The CBC is a routine test that indicates whether a patient’s white-blood-cell count (WBC) is normal. If the count is especially high after surgery or another procedure, it may indicate that an infection or serious complication is underway. This could indicate unclean practices before or after a procedure was performed.
Post-op X-rays showing unusual images
X-rays taken after surgery and other procedures sometimes show foreign objects, air pockets or fluid collecting in affected areas. These are often signs that a procedure has been bungled.
Overly-long or short operating times
When handled by competent professionals, surgeries and other procedures generally require a certain average amount of time to complete. If a procedure takes longer than usual, or if there are delays during an operation, it may mean that unresolved issues have arisen. The surgical notes written by nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists often contain clues as to what may have gone wrong.
A return to the operating room (or hospital)
A common hallmark of botched procedures is that the patient is quickly returned to the OR for additional surgery, or returned to the hospital soon after discharge. This is a bad sign because it suggests that either the original issues weren’t addressed during the first visit, or else a surgery may have created new problems for the patient.
If you or a loved one has observed any of these potential red flags for medical malpractice, you should contact Bob Barber, Tucson’s leading medical malpractice attorney. The experts at Bob Barber Law have the experience and technical resources to sort through complex health care issues, find out what really happened, protect your rights, and fight to win the financial relief that you deserve.
To speed the healing process, call Bob Barber today at 520-293-4440