Getting the Right Medical Treatment After A Preventable Medical Mistake

When a hospital or doctor makes a mistake that is medical malpractice, how do you get the treatment you need now that you have a serious condition or injuries caused by the malpractice?

Say you go in to the hospital for a routine surgery - from a back injury, knee injury, shoulder injury, whatever the cause may be.  You're otherwise pretty healthy. And there is a complication from the surgery with the anesthesia or the operation itself that requires a longer recovery time and hospital stay than you originally thought.

So your surgeon keeps you in the hospital for an extra day and then prescribes bed rest at home for the next week.

But the doctor never tells you about the risk of blood clots forming and doesn't order any treatment to help prevent a blood clot.

After nearly a week, you develop some pain in the chest and are short of breath.  You call the doctor's office but they just schedule you for an appointment the following week.  The next day you are rushed to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism (a blod clot that breaks off and travels to the lungs).  It requires surgery, extended treatment and hospitalization.  Of course you can't work.

Do you return to the surgeon for follow up on your back, knee or shoulder condition that caused the need for surgery.  What if he's a great surgeon and fixed the problem but you almost died or were seriously injured because he didn't bother to take steps to minimize the risk of a pulmonary embolism - or follow up when you had symptoms that something was wrong?

Can you trust that doctor again?

You do have a choice.  This is a free country, of course.  You can find another doctor.  And you probably should.  Maybe this doctor is a great surgeon but something is missing and he's not the best for you.   Maybe his staff made a mistake, or his nurse, or intern or resident but that's no excuse.  Your doctor is supposed to take care of you.  Don't let him blame other doctors, nurses, the hospital, etc.

Will your insurance, Medicaid or Medicare cover the medical treatment, bills, therapy and medications caused by malpractice?  They should, although Medicare may not reimburse the doctor who committed malpractice.

How do you prevent medical malpractice in the first place?  That's hard because all of the knowledge, training, responsibility, equipment, etc. is with the doctor and the hospital.  They are the specialists.  How could you possibly know of a rare condition, complication, specific treatment if they didn't tell you?

But there are some common medical mistakes we've seen happen over and over in our medical malpractice cases.  So we've put them in a report, kind of like a "Watch List" - what to watch out for in the hospital or doctor's office.

7 Symptoms of Medical Malpractice: How You Can Recognize, Stop and Avoid Medical Mistakes is yours for free and there is no obligation.  We can email it, send it, or you can download it.