Distractions are everywhere in today’s world. In the best-case scenario, being distracted just causes you to miss an important plot twist in your favorite TV show or ask your spouse to repeat themselves. In other scenarios, the outcomes are far more dangerous. A distracted driver can cause fatal injuries, and a distracted doctor can kill patients or leave them with lifelong injuries.
Have you been injured by a doctor’s poor care? You may be entitled to compensation. To talk about your case in greater detail, call Hedge Copeland at 251-432-8844.
Understanding Distracted Doctoring
While we put a lot of faith in doctors, they are human and prone to the same mistakes as the rest of us. When technology is so easily available and so entertaining, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some doctors cannot resist the temptation.
Part of the issue is the increase in technology in medical care. By and large, this development is beneficial for patients. It ensures that care providers have easy access to their records and can verify important information before administering medication or providing treatment. However, this technology can also make it easier for doctors to access social media and non-work-related sites.
This has been reported across the United States. Anesthesiologists are required to stay present during surgeries in case a patient has an adverse reaction to the medication and stops breathing or requires additional pain relief. These side effects are rare, so anesthesiologists may get a false sense of security.
There have been reports of anesthesiologists missing patients’ low oxygen levels or ineffective pain management because they were distracted by their iPad or phone during surgery. This risk is present in all medical specialties and must be dealt with swiftly on a legislative level, in addition to being addressed by hospital administrators.
Inattentive Doctors Put Patients at Risk
Depending on a doctor’s specialty and patient base, their distracted doctoring could have a wide range of dangerous outcomes. Consider these possible risks:
- Prescribing the wrong medication or prescribing the wrong dose or formulation
- Giving the wrong medication to a patient
- Giving the wrong amount of a prescribed medication
- Using equipment incorrectly or failing to use safety features
- Failing to double-check patients’ records, which may expose their private health information or lead to incorrect treatment being provided
- Using the wrong tool on a patient or failing to disinfect it properly
- Missing dangerous symptoms or changes in a patient’s overall health
- Leaving surgical equipment, such as sponges, inside a patient after surgery
- Not hearing a patient when they provide important health information
The outcomes vary. In some, a patient is inconvenienced or annoyed. In others, a patient could die or suffer lifelong health issues.
What You Can Do If You Are the Victim of a Distracted Doctor
Unfortunately, distracted doctoring is unlikely to stop being a problem any time soon. Distractions are everywhere, and doctors who are too confident in their experience will continue to downplay the dangers of those distractions to their work. That’s why it’s important to hold negligent doctors accountable in civil court.
This type of medical care is a form of medical malpractice. When a doctor’s poor choices cause serious harm to patients, patients may be able to recover compensation with a personal injury claim. Note, though, that medical malpractice is a very specialized area of personal injury law. It is crucial to work with an attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience in this field.
When trying to determine whether or not medical malpractice has occurred, the court looks at a wide range of evidence. One of the most common ways to assess a doctor’s actions is to compare those actions to what a doctor with similar education and experience would do. If the initial doctor’s care is extremely different from what a reasonable physician would have done, malpractice may have occurred.
Reach Out to Hedge Copeland Now
Has a distracted doctor left you with serious or permanent injuries? It’s time to hold them accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve. To talk to our team and learn more about your legal options, give us a call at 251-432-8844 or contact us online.