When you’re sick or injured, you place your trust in your doctor’s knowledge and skills. You also rely on the competence of medical support personnel in your clinic or hospital. Too often, though, that trust and reliance is violated when patients suffer preventable medical errors – meaning medical malpractice.
Preventable medical errors, even when innocently made, can spell the difference between regaining one’s health or suffering continued, and possibly worse, illness and disability. In some cases, medical malpractice can result in death where a patient could have been cured with proper treatment.
If you think you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified and experienced medical malpractice personal injury lawyer. That means an attorney with the experience, knowledge and resources to investigate your claim and hold accountable the parties responsible for your lack of proper care.
Texas Medical Malpractice Claims Require Skilled And Aggressive Representation
Medical malpractice rates are alarming and vastly underestimated by the American public. A February 2011 report by the American Association for Justice, entitled Medical Negligence: The Role of America’s Civil Justice System In Protecting Patients’ Rights, states that preventable medical errors would qualify as the sixth leading cause of death in the country if they were included as a category in the statistics maintained by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the same report, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that in 2003 there were 181,000 severe injuries due to medical negligence. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimated there are 15 million incidents of medical harm annually. Further, the nation’s leading healthcare rating organization concluded that where Medicare patients suffered a patient-safety incident, they had a one-in-five chance of dying as a result. Yet few injured patients ever file a lawsuit for medical negligence.
Common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose – Many illnesses and injuries, even very serious ones, can be treated and cured if diagnosed properly. Failure to diagnose a patient’s condition can delay the patient’s recovery or, worse, lead to the patient’s preventable death. Diagnostic errors are most common in medical conditions such as cancer, pulmonary embolisms, strokes, and heart attacks – all conditions that require prompt treatment to minimize harm to the patient and maximize the patient’s recovery and long-term quality of life.
- Medication or pharmacy errors – Medication errors are an immense and troubling issue in the modern healthcare environment. As a result, many patients are injured or die each year when they receive the wrong medicine, the correct medicine in the wrong amount, or medications that have serious adverse side effects when taken together. Whether due to confusing drug labeling, the similar appearance of some medications, lax procedures for prescribing and dosing medications, or treating physicians’ failure to communicate about drugs prescribed, the end result can be serious harm to the patient, or even death.
- Anesthesia errors – Anesthesia suppresses a patient’s conscious awareness or perception of pain, allowing physicians to carry out surgeries and other procedures that would otherwise be unbearably painful and distressing. But anesthesia requires careful administration and patient monitoring to avoid harmful side effects. Too much anesthesia, or anesthesia drugs improperly administered, can cause permanent injury or death. Likewise, if a patient receives insufficient anesthesia, the patient can awaken during surgery, suffering pain and torment.
- Surgical errors – Surgical errors are far too frequent and often involve elementary mistakes that should never happen. Every year, for instance, thousands of surgeries are performed on the wrong patient, or on the wrong part of a patient’s body. Likewise, surgeries too often result in patients having surgical tools, such as instruments or sponges, left inside their bodies. Even when surgeries and invasive procedures seemingly go as intended, surgeons can make mistakes that fail to correct a patient’s condition or cause new damage to the patient’s body.
- Emergency room errors – Patients brought to emergency rooms with serious or life-threatening conditions need to be evaluated, stabilized, and treated promptly and efficiently. Sometimes the nature of traumatic accidents and a patient’s condition make that hard to do, but paramedics, ambulance emergency medical technicians, and emergency room physicians and staff all have to do their jobs properly and efficiently to ensure a patient’s best chance of recovery. When they make errors in evaluating and treating a patient that result in preventable injury or death, that’s medical malpractice.
- Birth injuries – Preventable birth injuries can turn a joyous occasion into a time of sadness and anxiety for new parents. Both mother and child are vulnerable during the birthing process. That means physicians and hospital staff must be vigilant in monitoring the mother and child to promptly detect any problems that arise, and they must respond promptly and correctly when medical issues occur. Their failure to do so can result in a newborn’s suffering permanent disabilities, including cerebral palsy, that can last a lifetime.
In most cases, proving any of these types of negligence by a physician, hospital, or other healthcare provider isn’t easy. It requires a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney who has the resources to carry out a thorough evaluation of the medical record and muster evidence showing that a medical error happened, with damaging results to the patient.
As a highly successful personal injury attorney with a proven record of success, Kevin Krist has the skills necessary to get maximum compensation on Houston-area medical malpractice claims.
Kevin Krist is proud to have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for serious personal injury victims and families in Texas. Contact him now to discuss how he can help if you or a loved one has suffered medical malpractice.
Contact Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Kevin Krist Today
Whether you’re in Houston, Harris County, Pasadena, Katy, Baytown, Sugar Land, Conroe, League City, or elsewhere in southeast Texas, Kevin Krist can schedule a free consultation about your case. Simply call the Law Office of Kevin Krist at 713-284-1660, or use the firm’s online form. Let Kevin Krist explain how he can put his personal, proven experience to work for you and your family.