A study of orthopedic surgery medical malpractice claims was recently completed by a leading medical malpractice insurer, and it determined that there are a number of ways to reduce the chances that someone will file a claim. Along with this, it was found that just under half of claims allege surgery performance that was improper, 16 percent are for improper patient management and another 13 percent are related to diagnosis.
Claims related to patient care are believed to frequently stem from lack of communication between patients and doctors as well as between medical practitioners. Even if patients are properly informed of complication risks and indications of problems following a surgery, they may be overwhelmed by the amount of information they are supposed to keep track of. Followups with patients and their family members or those caring for them may help to reduce the chances that problems will arise or go unnoticed.
It is also important that medical professionals communicate with each other. Doctors should not tell nurses that they are not to be interrupted because the physician may be needed to care for a patient during the time they say they are not to be bothered. Caretakers at all levels should also be made aware of potential signs of complications.
Many people focus on the damage that surgical errors can do, which can cause major medical problems, but failing to address issues after a surgery can lead to consequences for patients that are severe. For example, a medication error could leave someone in pain or it could end up allowing a complication to develop. A lawyer could help patients who has been harmed by improper care to understand their options for legal recourse.