Any medical procedure comes with the risk of injury due to negligence on the part of the physician or another healthcare provider. This is true whether it is an inpatient or outpatient procedure.
Outpatient procedures include observations, lab tests, x-rays, emergency department services, and outpatient surgery. Errors that can occur in outpatient procedures are the same as those that can occur in inpatient procedures: medication errors, failure to order the correct testing, failure to obtain the patient’s informed consent, and surgical errors. Certain types of negligence are more common with outpatient procedures than with inpatient procedures and vice versa. When negligence occurs, patients can suffer injuries and adverse health effects that can cause them to face severe financial difficulties.
Outpatient vs. Inpatient Care
Many believe that the only distinction between inpatient and outpatient care is whether the patient receives it while staying in a hospital bed. It is actually more complicated than this. An individual can have outpatient status even if he or she stays the night in the hospital.
To have inpatient status, the patient must be formally admitted to the hospital by a doctor’s order. Otherwise, the patient has outpatient status.
Examples of Outpatient Care Injuries
The most common medical error associated with outpatient care services is delayed and incorrect diagnoses. These can occur when a physician does not have sufficient information about a patient or when the physician makes assumptions based on the patient’s symptoms without ordering the necessary testing to determine the patient’s condition for certain. Diagnosing a patient’s condition incorrectly can be as harmful as failing to make a diagnosis at all. Both can keep the patient from receiving the care he or she needs, sometimes until it is too late for him or her to recover completely from the condition.
Medication errors can occur during outpatient procedures, such as prescribing the wrong medication for the patient or administering an incorrect medication or incorrect dose to him or her. It is also possible for patient to suffer from a surgical error during an outpatient surgery, such as an anesthesia error or having equipment left inside him or her after the surgery is complete.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered from an injury or worsened condition while receiving outpatient care, you have the right to seek compensation for your resulting damages through a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about this process, speak with one of the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Baizer Kolar, P.C. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.