Medical Malpractice: Not Only Present in the ER
Medical malpractice is well-known for taking place in the emergency room, where time is short, patients are in abundance, and emotion is high. However, you may be surprised to learn that medical malpractice occurs through many other avenues. If you have never been the victim of medical malpractice, you should investigate the many different ways it can occur so that you are prepared in the case that it happens to you (and statistics indicate that it will, in fact, happen to you). Likewise, if you are one of the unfortunate many who have been victimized due to medical negligence, you should examine how to approach building a legal case by learning what category of medical malpractice you fall into. Two of the most common forms of medical malpractice found outside of the emergency room (that most people are unaware of) are listed below; review them so that you can remain informed about the dangerous malpractice epidemic in the United States.
Malpractice during Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is used to aid in the recovery of injured patients by retraining the injured muscle groups. This is often accomplished through massage and physical exercise. Physical therapy malpractice is very common in nursing homes and other senior living centers; however, it may also occur among athletes and those recovering from traumatic injuries. This form of malpractice takes place due to negligent physical therapists who either overlook an important piece of patient information or rush the patient’s progress beyond an acceptable speed. The possible injuries occurring due to negligent physical therapy treatment are varied:
● Bruises. Bruises may occur if a physical therapist drops a patient.
● Concussions. Concussions may occur if a patient is left unattended on equipment.
● Broken bones. Fractures, sprains, and breaks may occur if a physical therapist pushes his or her client too hard.
● Open wounds. The incorrect operation of equipment may lead to punctures and bleeding wounds.
Malpractice during Mental Treatment
The relationship between a client and his or her psychiatrist/counselor is one of the most personal in the medical care field. Unfortunately, this intimacy may be a springboard for very intense repercussions should a therapist act toward the client in a way that is negligent. Most people don’t realize that therapists, psychologists, and counselors are just as liable to malpractice lawsuits as doctors and nurses.
● A mistreatment of the trust relationship (exploitation). If a mental health care provider uses his or her trusted position to abuse a client, a malpractice charge may be pressed. Examples of exploitation include the crossing of certain boundaries; engaging in sexual encounters with the client, sharing the client’s private information with others, and using the client’s money for recreational purposes are all examples of an exploitation of the relationship between therapist and client.
● Incorrect diagnoses. Individuals who prescribe the wrong kind of medicine, incorrect dosage, or inappropriate treatment plan may be liable to a malpractice accusation. If another competent professional in the mental health field would not have reasonably chosen to take the same course of action, it can be assumed that the original action was beneath the medical standard of care.
● Confidentiality Breach. If a therapist informs anyone about a client’s past actions, current actions, or future intentions, he or she is vulnerable to third party liability. Psychologists and other mental care professionals must remain true to a very strict code of confidentiality; any breach in the confidentiality code may result in a malpractice accusation.
These three categories of malpractice are only a few of the many forms of malpractice taking place in the present day. If you want to know if your situation applies to medical malpractice, try calling a seasoned attorney. The attorney you call will be able to direct you in the right direction if you want to pursue compensation for your injury.
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