What to Know About Medical Malpractice During a Global Pandemic

Due to the global pandemic, a lot has changed in the medical world. Doctors and nurses who have never dealt with infectious diseases during their careers are suddenly being thrown in the front line to treat COVID-19 patients. In addition, regular patients are now increasingly turning to telemedicine for treatment. Many patients fear going into a doctor’s office and getting COVID-19. With all of these changes and unknowns, doctors and nurses could be at a greater risk of committing medical malpractice. Negligent treatment of patients is unacceptable. Whether it is an accident or not, these are people that you should be able to trust with your health. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice during the COVID pandemic or any other time, you have the potential to recover damages and a medical malpractice attorney can help you do that.

At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, we provide our clients with a medical malpractice attorney to help them get the compensation they deserve. Read on to learn about medical malpractice during the global pandemic.

New Rules for Telemedicine

During the pandemic, routine medical care has become increasingly virtual through telemedicine. This allows doctors to consult with their patients via phone or video conference instead of meeting at the doctor’s office. Patients schedule telemedicine appointments to avoid COVID-19 exposure. HIPAA has expanded its guidance surrounding telemedicine, making it easier for doctors to diagnose patients virtually. Unfortunately, telemedicine can be a risky area of care. Healthcare providers must talk with their patients in a private setting. For example, conducting a telehealth phone call from their office with the door closed is completely acceptable, but conducting the appointment from their home over speakerphone while their family is within earshot is not acceptable.

If you find out that the privacy of your appointment was compromised, you can sue for medical malpractice. Additional areas where telehealth practices can be considered malpractice is if the provider commits a criminal act like fraud, violates ethical standards, or uses public-facing communication products like a public chat room or Facebook Live to discuss your medical conditions. If you feel your recent telehealth appointment was unethical in any way, contact us today. As a medical malpractice attorney, we will look into the situation and build a case so that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Improper Diagnosis

Getting an improper diagnosis can be dangerous at best and deadly at worst. Whether you are diagnosed incorrectly through telemedicine or in person, you have the right to file for medical malpractice. For example, say you have all the COVID-19 symptoms, but your test comes back negative. A reasonable doctor would consider the fact that the test might not be accurate and still provide treatment assuming that you probably had the virus. If the provider negligently sent the patient home, that patient could end up severely ill and needing hospital care or worse, dying in their home. This negligence is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Failure to Order Tests

Another area where medical malpractice lawsuits are common is when doctors fail to order tests that could diagnose a disease. When this occurs, often it delays the diagnosis and treatment significantly, which can cause further and potentially irreversible damage to the patient’s body. With many patients doing telemedicine appointments, it can be a lot easier for doctors to fail to order tests for a variety of reasons. First, they are unable to physically examine you over the screen like they would in person. Second, they may assume that if you are uncomfortable making an in-person appointment that you would be uncomfortable coming in to get a test done. Neither of these things are excuses for a doctor to not recommend a test.

It is crucial during this time that doctors carefully listen to a patient’s symptoms. They need to be diligent about ordering tests when necessary. Failure to send a patient to get a COVID-19 test could also lead to issues. COVID has so many symptoms associated with it. In fact, it truly appears to be a disease that can affect the entire body. Your doctor should always take the “it’s better to be safe than sorry” approach. They should recommend you for a COVID-19 test even if the chances of you having it are low.

How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help?

Practicing medicine during a global pandemic is tough. Doctors and nurses face overwhelm. That being said, there is no excuse for not providing the best care. Issues such as being unethical over telemedicine appointments, improperly diagnosing conditions, or failing to order tests can negatively impact the health of patients. These issues can lead to patients becoming even sicker and, in worst-case scenarios, dying. No patient deserves to get worse due to negligence and malpractice by their doctor.

At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, we have years of experience helping our clients sue medical professionals for malpractice. We begin the process by meeting with you and learning all the details of your situation. We seek out evidence and important details. Patients can receive compensation for damages. Damages received can be for things like lost wages due to the undiagnosed illness or surgery costs due to not catching a condition early enough to avoid surgery. If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, don’t wait another day. A medical malpractice lawsuit can lead to compensation. At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, we are more than happy to build your case. For more information about medical malpractice and to set up a consultation appointment, contact us today.

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W. Carl Reynolds

O. Wendell Horne III

Bradley J. Survant

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Abbie R. Brown

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