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Medication errors among common causes of malpractice claims

When patients seek treatment from doctors, they naturally expect their physicians to properly care for them. If this does not happen, they have the right to take legal action. A wide range of errors on the part of physicians are grounds for medical malpractice lawsuits in West Virginia and elsewhere, including failure to diagnose or medication errors.

A common reason for medical malpractice suits is failing to diagnose the medical condition of a patient. In fact, more than 30 percent of doctors who completed a recent survey stated that this was the reason they had been sued in the past. Failure to diagnose can happen if professional guidelines for diagnostic testing and screening are not followed.

Injuring a patient during treatment also led to lawsuits brought against more than 30 percent of the physicians surveyed. Another problem that is grounds for a lawsuit is failing to treat the patient's medical issue. This includes not treating healthcare-related infections, which might actually be a bigger problem than such diseases as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Poor documentation of patient care and medication errors are also major issues for patients. Medication errors might range from dosage issues to a wrong initial prescription for a drug. Any patients in West Virginia who suffer harm due to a doctor's failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care may choose to file malpractice claims, seeking the reimbursement of damages. A successfully fought suit may yield an award of damages that can help address pain and suffering or help with covering any additional treatment needed.

Source: fiercehealthcare.com, "The top 5 reasons for malpractice lawsuits against doctors", Joanne Finnegan, May 30, 2017

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