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What are the main sources of medical malpractice claims?

It is most likely safe to say that no one in Oregon expects to go see a doctor and end up in worse shape than when he or she sought medical assistance. Sadly, this happens more often than people are willing to admit. In fact, estimates indicate that only around 2.9 percent of people who are victims of medical malpractice seek compensation through the court system.

Most claims tend to fall within three categories. The first occurs when a doctor fails to obtain and review a complete medical history of the patient. Even if a doctor has all of the information, there is also no guarantee that the records are accurate and complete. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis, dangerous drug interactions and other problems.

The wrong diagnosis can lead to the wrong treatment, which could make matters worse. Even if a doctor comes to the right diagnosis, some treatment options could also exacerbate the situation. Unnecessary surgeries, medications and other treatments can do more harm than good. For instance, if the patient is told that he or she needs surgery, it is possible that the surgeon could make a mistake. The problem is that there are numerous points at which something can go wrong.

Anytime there is a human element, there is the potential for error. This is why patients have the right to file medical malpractice claims. Oregon residents who suspect that they suffered a permanent or debilitating injury due to a mistake by a medical professional are entitled to consider exercising their legal rights. The same is true of surviving family members who lost a loved one under suspicious circumstances.

Source:, "Medical malpractice: what it is, and why it isn't reported more frequently", March 31, 2016

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