In 2014, a 47-year-old Pennsylvania man went to the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute on the referral of his doctor. The patient, whose family had a background of coronary artery disease, underwent a stress echocardiogram to screen for possible heart problems. The doctor in charge of the test reportedly failed to interpret the results correctly and the patient returned to his own physician with no heart condition detected.
It is safe to assume that most medical providers in Pennsylvania do not want their patients to know if they have made an error during treatment. Sometimes, such a mistake does not cause any harm at all and is easily corrected. Other times, an error can cost a patient his or her life or good physical condition.
Not many people realize that dental mistakes are often a form of medical malpractice. Like doctors, dental professionals have a duty to provide care to their patients and to protect them from harm. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen when you are sitting in a dentist's chair just as easily as they can happen in other health care settings.
It may sound like a silly question to ask, but it is an important one. You may assume that medical malpractice cases speak for themselves, and sometimes they do! There is even a legal term for this called "res ipsa," which means that "it speaks for itself." Since medical malpractice cases can be very complicated, res ipsa cases make it easier for the plaintiff to establish that they were harmed under circumstances that qualify as medical malpractice.