Have you been to the doctor recently and felt that your doctor didn’t hear a word you said? Did he/she seem rushed? Were you confused about your prescription (or better yet, you couldn’t read the prescription)?
If you’ve felt this way, you aren’t alone. Empower yourself (or a Connecticut medical malpractice attorney) to act as your medical advocate.
A recent study revealed that the top two causes of medical malpractice claims against family primary care physicians are diagnostic mistakes and medication errors. Here are two doctor behaviors to look out for:
He/She Got It Wrong
Diagnostic mistakes include delay and misdiagnosis, most commonly of cancer or heart attack. Missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer is often seen when the cancer is diagnosed or treated as a common, benign condition.
For example, lung cancer is diagnosed as repeated bronchitis; melanoma is improperly diagnosed as keratosis and removed, but not sent for biopsy; symptoms of colon cancer are improperly attributed to hemorrhoids. Missed diagnosis of heart attack (myocardial infarction) is also commonly seen when the signs and symptoms are attributed to less severe causes of chest pain, such as GERD and heartburn.
You’re Doped Up
Medication errors are usually the result of a healthcare provider’s failure to ensure the five “rights” of medication administration:
The RIGHT patient receives the RIGHT drug, in the RIGHT dose, at the RIGHT time, and through the RIGHT route.
Overdoses of medication (prescribing or taking too much), mix-ups in medications that have similar-sounding names (Flonase and Flomax, or Lamisil and Lamictal); and giving the wrong instructions are examples of medication errors.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a delayed medical diagnosis or a medication error, speak to a Connecticut medical malpractice attorney about your injury.