Laboratory Errors Impact Medical Treatment
Posted in Medical Malpractice on June 24, 2021
When you go to the doctor with certain symptoms, he or she may order laboratory tests to accurately diagnose the condition. However, some medical professionals commit errors while ordering, performing, or reading these labs, causing serious injuries or a worsening illness. If you or a loved one were injured due to a laboratory error, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common Types of Laboratory Errors
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standard of care while treating a patient. This deviation can occur due to a negligent action or failure to act. Laboratory errors, or errors that involve blood tests, tissue samples, and other diagnostic procedures, fall under the definition of medical malpractice. These errors can involve a failure to order necessary tests, adequately perform these labs, or accurately interpret lab results.
Many mistakes can occur while performing or interpreting laboratory tests, including the following.
- The use of defective equipment
- Using incorrect diagnostic imaging procedures
- Mislabeling samples or mixing up samples between patients
- Failure to keep blood and tissue samples at an adequate temperature
- Using expired products to perform laboratory tests
- Failure to perform quality control measures
- Failure to centrifuge samples within the appropriate time frame
- Misinterpreting lab results
- Losing imaging or blood samples
The Dangers of Laboratory Errors
Laboratory errors help healthcare professionals make accurate diagnoses and decisions about a patient’s treatment. If your doctor misreads, misinterprets, or fails to order necessary laboratory tests, dangerous complications may occur. You may have a serious condition that could worsen over time, leading to an advanced prognosis and painful symptoms that you would not have otherwise experienced. The doctor may also order an inappropriate or ineffective treatment plan that could potentially worsen your condition. As a result, you can sustain serious physical, financial, and emotional hardship.
In these situations, you could file a medical malpractice claim against the medical provider who committed the laboratory error. Through this lawsuit, you can recover compensation for the losses you suffered due to his or her negligence, including the following.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Chronic pain, disability, and disfigurement
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of quality of life
Do You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Proving a laboratory error lawsuit can be challenging. You will need to show that the at-fault medical provider owed you a duty of care and breached his or her duty through a negligent act or omission. You will then need to prove that the breach of duty caused your injury or worsening illness. In these situations, a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer can help.
An attorney can provide you with the skills and resources you need to prove your claim. He or she can enlist the help of an expert witness who can analyze your case and testify whether the at-fault party’s actions deviated from the medical standard of care. Your lawyer will also have experience representing cases similar to yours, and can leverage his or her knowledge, skills, and pieces of scientific evidence to craft a compelling case in your favor. An attorney can also handle all negotiations and litigation processes on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery.
As soon as you believe that you may have been the victim of a laboratory error, speak to a Missouri medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will then evaluate your case and help you identify your optimal path to compensation.