People in North Carolina likely do not think twice about taking the advice of their doctors. They defer to the years of education and experience clinicians, expecting that even if a doctor has not encountered a case similar to theirs, the diagnostic tools at the doctor’s disposal make it next to impossible to approximate their conditions.
Yet despite this assumption, misdiagnoses and oversights remain a huge problem plaguing the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, unlike with other professional practitioners, a doctor’s error typically has catastrophic consequences on people’s lives.
Man loses three limbs following medical oversight
A recent case from California clearly illustrates this point. Per The Fresno Bee man (who enjoyed a vibrant and active lifestyle) ended up having his right forearm amputated along with both his lower legs following what he supposed would be a routine heart procedure. He sought treatment after suffering a heart attack. Doctors recommended he have a heart valve replaced. His treatment plan included taking a blood thinner, which subsequently caused his platelet levels to drop dangerously low. By the time doctors detected the problem, it was too late to save his limbs. He since sued the hospital where he received treatment saying that doctors failed to monitor his symptoms adequately, which might have saved him from needing the amputations.
Accountability for catastrophic medical errors
Most understand that doctors and surgeons may be subject to the same errors in judgment that everyone is. However, given the serious consequences of their mistakes (and subsequent expenses that can accompany them), those suffering because of them may have little choice but to seek compensation. Their motivations may often be twofold: to help them have the resources to help secure a sustainable quality of life, as well as to hold medical practitioners accountable in an effort to avoid future errors.