Medical malpractice can take many forms. You have probably heard about medication errors, birth injuries, and cases of surgical equipment being left inside patients after the surgery is finished. These are all medical errors that can inflict serious harm on a patient, but they are not the only types of error that can do so. Below are four examples of medical errors that are discussed less frequently than these, but can be just as harmful to patients.
Practicing Medicine Without a Valid License
To practice medicine, a physician must be licensed and renew his or her license to practice medicine as required by his or her state’s licensing board. In Illinois, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation handles the licensing and renewal of doctors in the state.
If a doctor does not have a valid medical license, he or she cannot legally practice medicine. He or she may still give medical advice, but he or she cannot diagnose a patient, prescribe medication, or perform surgery on a patient, even if he or she was previously licensed and the license expired. Doing so is a form of malpractice.
Breaching Doctor-Patient Confidence
Just like lawyers have attorney-client confidence, doctors have doctor-patient confidence. This means that the communication between a doctor and a patient who have an established relationship, meaning that the doctor has diagnosed or treated the patient, must be kept in confidence and cannot be used in court. Because doctor-patient confidence is a part of the doctor’s standard of care to his or her patients, breaching this confidence is an act of malpractice.
X-rays emit radiation, which can be harmful if too much enters the patient’s body. This can happen if the x-ray technician does not hold the machine correctly or if the patient is not wearing proper protective gear while the x-ray is performed. An overdose of radiation can lead to radiation sickness.
Premature Discharge of a Patient
Part of a health care provider’s job is to determine when a patient is healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital. When a patient is discharged, he or she may be sent home with instructions for his or her recovery and a scheduled follow-up visit. The patient may also be required to undergo testing before being discharged to determine whether he or she is ready to go home. Discharging a patient without taking the proper precaution to determine whether he or she is healthy enough to remain medically stable at home is an act of negligence that can be considered an act of malpractice.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you were injured or suffered a worsened condition because of a physician or other health care provider’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim. It does not matter which type of negligence occurred – only that an error occurred that could have been prevented if the health care provider had exercised a greater level of care. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim and to discuss the specific details of your case, contact our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation in our office.