What If You Suspect Medical Malpractice?

  • Topic Info:Medical malpractice is professional negligence by a healthcare provider. It occurs when a specific treatment provided falls below accepted standards of practice in the medical community and results in an injury or death in the patient receiving the treatment.

    It is often seen in outpatient care centers.

    These centers can seem appealing for certain procedures, since they can offer benefits of convenience and affordability. However, some outpatient centers may not have the proper equipment or staff on standby, ready to deal with an emergency.

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

    Joan Rivers, 81, went into cardiac and respiratory arrest at an outpatient surgery clinic in Manhattan during an elective vocal cord procedure and was then rushed six minutes across town to Mount Sinai Hospital for emergency care. She died one week later.

    Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, is now contemplating whether or not to pursue a medical malpractice suit.

    What would YOU need to know before taking this type of action?

    You might want to pursue medical malpractice action if you think there was error during a procedure that caused an injury or death; if there was question as to whether the proper medical equipment was used and if other medical equipment was available if something were to go wrong; if the staff had improper training; and if standard of care was followed improperly.

    What tips can you keep in mind to ensure your safety prior to having a procedure?

    Tips to avoid a medical error:

    1. Select a caring, competent doctor.
    2. Take responsibility for your health.
    3. Give all the facts of your condition, even if you think they may be irrelevant.
    4. Don't be afraid to ask; investigate potential failure by the facility to stay up-to-date on standards and training

    What else do you need to know to avoid a medical malpractice incident?

    Physician attorney, Armand Leone, JD, MD, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss what questions to ask during a medical malpractice investigation, what you need to do to ensure your own safety before a surgery and ways you can avoid a medical malpractice incident in the first place.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS