Medical negligence is, in fact, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Despite our efforts to be healthcare advocates for our family and friends when they are hospitalized, medical malpractice still occurs when the medical provider does not deliver the appropriate standard of care.

Medical negligence most often comes from the following reasons:  failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis, failure to see a condition on an xray, scan or MRI, complications from treatment and/or surgery, poor outcome/disease progression, failure to treat or a delayed treatment, wrongful death, errors in medication administration, poor documentation of patient instruction and education, improperly obtaining or lack of getting informed consent, and failure to follow safety procedures.

For a medical malpractice case to be viable, the patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. In these cases, the results of bad medical care are often catastrophic and can result in death, loss of a limb, or paralysis.

Here are a few examples of medical negligence:

•  Patient has CT scan for a cough. Dr. fails to see that there is a mass in the lungs, and tells patient he is fine. One year later, patient still has problems, and a different doctor notes mass in lungs, which was cancer. This is a one year delay in diagnosis of cancer.

•  Patient had a colonoscopy, which resulted in a biopsy of a suspicious area. Patient was told the biopsy was benign, when in fact, 9 months later, the doctor realizes he looked at the wrong report for a different patient, and patient had colon cancer.

•  Patient went to the emergency room complaining of chest pain. EKG, Ultrasound and Cardiac enzymes were done, but dr. failed to look at the cardiac enzymes, which showed evidence of heart damage, indicating a heart attack had occurred. Patient sent home with diagnosis of pulled muscle, and died 2 days later of a heart attack.

If you believe you, a family member or a friend have not received good medical care and the lack of medical care has resulted in a substantial injury or death, call us. Freidman and Martin will evaluate your case to determine if the medical provider gave the correct medical care. If there was medical negligence, we will handle your case and if there is no recovery you will owe us nothing. In Georgia, in order to file a medical malpractice case, there must be a signed affidavit attached to the lawsuit, signed by a doctor or correct medical personnel that the proper care was not given, that the proper standard of care was not given, which results in fewer frivolous lawsuits being filed.

If you think medical negligence has occurred and a death resulted, an autopsy should be performed to confirm the cause of death. This is most important. Although we don’t like the idea of putting our deceased loved ones through an autopsy, this is the only sure way to confirm cause of death. The insurance company for the doctor will almost always fight the cases on a lack of an autopsy, which can cause doubt on the cause of death, a necessary element of proof in a medical negligence case.

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