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Medical malpractice: the numbers and the steps

Physical ailments typically involve some level of stress, even when financial arrangements are in place. The many aspects of a procedure that could go wrong often plague the minds of patients the night before surgery. Maryland, like other states, protects its residents from the mistakes that can occur when under a doctor’s care. Nevertheless, some patients can become victims of medical errors that can last for years — and even a lifetime. 

Most Maryland residents can find peace of mind by visiting a doctor, yet even reliable and honest physicians can make mistakes. As Consumer Reports notes, doctors make misdiagnoses in 10 to 15 percent of all office visits. The conditions that were most overlooked included pneumonia, congestive heart failure and cancer. These numbers are not only prominent in regular office visits; CR also shares that up to 160,000 hospitalized patients die or endure permanent damages as a result of medical malpractice. Although there are many complexities involved in making correct diagnoses, it can be difficult to understand a doctor’s perspective when a patient’s life is at stake. Faulty laboratory readings and incorrect prescription dosages are other common factors in malpractice cases.

In some cases, patients do not have time to scrutinize an incident to determine whether it constitutes as malpractice. Findlaw lists steps in a medical malpractice case that patients can take, stating that contacting the medical professional is vital. After getting in touch with the professional involved, patients may receive services from medical providers that can correct an issue. Should this step prove unsuccessful, patients may contact their states’ medical licensing board for further assistance. There are, of course, details that apply to each state, and patients might also need to consider the timeframe in which they can file a claim and receive proper settlement.