With the great number of doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities in Pittsburgh, medical malpractice is a common problem. What is medical malpractice? It is the violation of the medical standard of care directly resulting in damages. That violation may be by a doctor, a nurse, a hospital or any other medical facility or professional.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or a worsened medical condition due to a doctor, physician, or hospital’s negligence, contact a Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer to file a claim for damages. Our dedicated injury attorneys are ready to fight for you.
Problems in Pittsburgh Hospitals?
As with other hospitals throughout Pennsylvania, numerous Pittsburgh facilities suffered reimbursement payment cuts and fines due to readmission rates and medical mistakes. In 2014, 30 western Pennsylvania hospitals faced payment cuts due to “excessive readmission rates.” In addition, several hospitals in Pittsburgh were penalized due to failures relating to patient safety. Those included Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC Health System, UPMC Passavant and UPMS Presbyterian Shadyside. If you would like to check out Pittsburgh area hospitals for their records under Medicare, try the tool on the medicare.gov website. It is important to choose the best medical care you can, right from the start, to limit the chances of experiencing medical malpractice in Pittsburgh.
We Are Experienced in Handling Malpractice Claims
Dennis M. Abrams, our senior trial attorney, has over 30 years experience in major litigation with a reputation for getting results. He manages a team that includes an attorney who is a medical doctor and an attorney who is a nurse. Their medical knowledge means that we are able to rapidly review your case. Each of our Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys have a substantial amount of trial experience.
How Common is the Problem?
Unfortunately, the number of mistakes occurring in hospitals and doctor’s offices is entirely too common. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. A recent study confirms that as many as 440,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year. This is a very disturbing statistic. Now, understand, not each of these deaths would actually be the basis for a lawsuit. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that these errors often do not violate the medical standard of care and that it is hard to legally connect the mistake with the death of the patient.
How Can You Avoid Common Errors?
The most common error involves diagnosis. This includes failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. In order to avoid this kind of error, it is important that you:
- Follow up on test results – don’t assume your results are normal. Failure to communicate is a common source of problems in the medical world.
- Get a second opinion – if you believe the results are wrong, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Any doctor worth his or her license will support you doing so.
Another common problem that can lead to fatalities is improper medication. This might be the wrong dosage (which is most common) or the wrong medication. How can you avoid this problem?
- Make sure you know the name of the drugs, the dose and what it is for.
- Tell your doctor about every medication you take. This includes any supplements. Vitamins and other supplements can interfere with medications.
- When you get the medication from the pharmacy, check to make sure everything is correct. Review the literature that comes with the medication to make certain it will serve the purpose it is supposed to serve.
- Tell the pharmacy the medications and supplements you are taking. Sometimes pharmacies will catch problems where doctors won’t.
- When in doubt, ask. If you see any problems at all, if something looks different or if you just aren’t sure, ask your pharmacist and/or your doctor.
Cleanliness is critical. Make certain that everyone who touches you washes their hands. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Infection is a serious problem in hospitals, and cleanliness helps to reduce the risk. If you aren’t sure if someone has washed his hands, ask. In most hospitals and doctor’s offices, the doctors and nurses will wash their hands right in front of you.
For more advice on decreasing your risk of getting hurt by a doctor in Pittsburgh, watch Dr. Esther Gallagher, Esq.’s video on preventing malpractice.
Retain a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one was injured by a doctor, other medical professional or medical business, reach out to a Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer for help. The call is free and there is no fee unless we get compensation for you and your family.