When you entrust your health to a Pennsylvania medical team, you’re also entrusting them with your safety. Whether you have an appointment with your primary care physician to diagnose symptoms of illness or have a surgery scheduled in a Williamsport hospital, you can expect all members of your medical team to provide quality care in accordance with state law and accepted standards of safety in the medical industry.
Certain medical procedures carry a greater inherent risk for injury than others, such as undergoing heart surgery versus having a deep laceration stitched in an emergency room. In any case, if you wind up in worse condition because a doctor, nurse, anesthetist or other medical worker provides substandard care, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.
Issues that constitute medical malpractice in Pennsylvania
Perhaps a doctor prescribes a medication for you, and you wind up having an adverse reaction to it. Are the doctor’s actions considered medical malpractice? In a case where a doctor had no idea that you were allergic to a specific drug, there wouldn’t necessarily be grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim if you take a medication and suffer an allergic reaction.
However, if a doctor or nurse gives you the wrong drug or the wrong dosage, it suggests that the person in question may have been negligent in his or her duty to avoid medication errors. Medical malpractice occurs when a licensed medical professional’s negligence results in illness or injury to you or your spouse or child, etc., in which case one or more people may be held liable for damages.
Evidence must demonstrate negligence, as well as damages
If you believe that a medical professional was directly responsible for your injuries or illness, it might constitute medical malpractice if you can prove the issues included in the following list:
- A medical team member provided substandard treatment (negligence).
- Damages occurred, including physical, emotional or economic distress.
- The damages that occurred were a direct result of someone’s negligence.
The medical industry has stringent regulations that help keep patients safe. If someone commits an egregious error, such as a surgeon accidentally leaving a foreign object inside your body or operating on the wrong part of your body, a civil court judge can hold him or her accountable for those actions. A Pennsylvania Medical License Board may also enact sanctions against a licensed medical professional deemed responsible for a patient’s injuries.