When your loved one died after a routine surgery, prolonged hospital stay or medical procedure, the death certificate probably did not include doctor error as a contributing cause of death. Nevertheless, with over 250,000 deaths due to physician’s mistakes across the country, medical error ranks unofficially as the third leading cause of death in the United States.
In an effort to reduce the occurrence of medical mistakes, researchers are trying to figure out why doctors make so many grievous errors that cost the lives or health of patients like your loved one. Recent findings may cause you to recall the interactions between you and your loved one’s physician just prior to your loved one’s treatment.
Please and thank you
A university study shows that, while a small percentage of medical errors can be connected to a doctor’s lack of sleep, over 40 percent of doctor mistakes follow an incident of rude behavior from someone, such as the patient’s family. A training simulation showed that when doctors endured rude comments, even those unrelated to their levels of skill, they performed lower on subsequent evaluations.
The research suggests that personal affronts affect people on a cognitive level, making it harder for them to perform to their full capacity. This is critical in the medical field. In your stressful moments when you interacted with the doctor, you may have said something that inadvertently registered as rudeness in the doctor’s brain, affecting his or her performance while tending to your loved one.
Although the study suggests that the impact of rudeness on a doctor’s performance may be something that is out of the physician’s control, the fact remains that a critical error cost you the life of your loved one. This may not seem a fair balance when compared to the hurt feelings of the doctor.
Making it right
You have the right to expect a high standard of care from any medical professional to whom you entrust your loved ones. When doctors don’t meet that standard, the consequences can be devastating. You know this first hand. Whether your loved one suffered because of a medicinal or prescription error, a surgical mistake, a delayed diagnosis or other act of negligence, you have the right to answers. You may also have the right to compensation.
By contacting an attorney, you can discuss your concerns and learn if your situation qualifies for a civil action against the physician or West Virginia medical facility that treated your loved one. An attorney will carefully evaluate the circumstances and advocate for your rights.