In this particular situation a client of ours was given an intravenous medication to help with low iron levels in her blood, she asked the nurse practitioner not to administer the medication without prior testing, to determine if she had any allergies to the medication. The nurse went ahead and administer the medication without testing, the patient became extremely sick and in extreme pain, and nearly died as a result. It turns out that there was a test to determine if someone was going to be allergic to this particular form of treatment, as this form of treatment does in fact cause allergic reactions in some of the patient it administered to. The simple fact that the patient asked to receive this test, the nurse failed to provide it and then the client suffered extreme physical pain and was out of work for a while, and also was financially harmed by this episode. In a case such as this medical malpractice or negligence is an obvious matter, although other situations may not be as obvious and that there are number of factors that must be looked at before determining if your particular situation arises to the level that you have a case for medical malpractice or negligence.
Whenever evaluating a particular situation, to determine if medical malpractice or negligence had occurred there are a number of factors you must look at first. Was it a medical professional who caused the negligence or problem, such as a doctor, nurse, technician or pharmacist. You obviously wouldn’t have a medical malpractice lawsuit if you had a friend go pick up your prescription while she was picking up her own, and by mistake she handed you her pills and you got sick because of that. Somewhere in the situation the proximate cause of the damage had to be caused by a medical professional or someone who is a direct agent to a premedical professional and was directly involved in your treatment. Another factor we must consider and the determination of if the case is medical malpractice or not, is if the medical professional used the proper level of care in the treatment of the patient. If a doctor does everything they could possibly do in a patient died on the operating table, obviously you just can’t sue every doctor for any time something goes wrong in a medical situation, that would be wrong and unethical. Healthcare is not an exact science, even though people would like to think it is, it’s almost as much of an art form as it is a science. New medical information is coming out all the time that make what physicians thought in the past obsolete, so the medical profession is not pure science and there’s no way to determine what the end result will be, thus if the medical professionals using all due care for that particular situation simply because the result is not what you wanted, does not make it medical malpractice. Another factor in the determination of a medical malpractice or medical negligence case would be actual damages monetary or physical. Basically were you in some way her physically mentally and emotionally or financially because of the negligence of a medical professional? That is one of the most important questions that needs to be answered in the determination if it was malpractice or negligence. Someone makes a mistake and is a medical professional, as a practical matter almost all mistakes can be resolved with a minor settlement, although if there was no damages that happened to you and you didn’t in any way suffer, I would consider that unethical to punish someone in that manner for mistake that did not harm you. But if you’re harmed financially, physically, emotionally or financially due to the malpractice or negligence of a medical professional, then you have a medical malpractice case.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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