Hospital Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice happens when a patient is harmed due to the actions or lack of action taken by a healthcare professional. Medical malpractice in a hospital can occur in any part of the building by any member of the staff. If you or a loved one has become the victim of hospital negligence and would like to file a medical malpractice claim, having an experienced lawyer on your side is vital to the success of your case. An attorney who specializes in malpractice can discuss the hospital’s mistakes with you and help to determine the best course of action.
Common Causes of Hospital Mistakes
Hospitals are extremely large, chaotic work environments. As a result, mistakes can occur for any number of reasons. Fatigue, lack of communication, inadequate training, or carelessness are often to blame for mistakes in the hospital. Of course, not all errors are avoidable, but when a hospital employee’s negligence leads to serious injury or death, they put themselves and the hospital at risk for a malpractice claim. Common examples of hospital mistakes that could be grounds for a malpractice claim include:
The delivery room, unfortunately, is a common place for hospital mistakes. Some injuries are unavoidable during childbirth. However, if the mother or child is harmed as a result of negligence before or during delivery, there may be grounds for a lawsuit. Severe childbirth injuries include birth fractures, respiratory distress, swelling of the scalp, and brain damage. These injuries, as well as injuries to the mother, can occur if the doctor fails to do any of the following:
- Identify childbirth complications ahead of time
- Diagnose abnormalities in the fetus
- Respond appropriately to fetal distress
- Provide proper monitoring during labor and delivery
- Provide proper medications
- Use appropriate methods during childbirth
- Perform a C-section when necessary
The chaotic nature of an emergency department does not excuse its staff from making errors. Due to the haphazard nature of the workplace, hospital malpractice suits involving the ER require proof of gross negligence as opposed to ordinary negligence. ER mistakes that would be considered gross negligence include the following:
- Failure to treat cardiac arrest or stroke symptoms in the ER
- Failure to properly stabilize and transport patient in ambulance
- Failure to maintain an acceptable standard of care
- Failure to treat a patient due to wrong or no insurance
The operating room (OR) is one of the most common areas of the hospital for mistakes due to the complicated procedures and risks involved. Malpractice suits involving surgery are complex because every patient is required to sign extensive paperwork informing them of the potential risks. Common surgical errors include the following:
- Leaving a foreign object, such as a piece of surgical equipment inside the patient
- Injuring a nerve during surgery
- Damaging a proximal organ or blood vessel
- Using non-sterile surgical instruments
- Administering too much or too little anesthesia
- Performing an incision at the wrong location
- Pre-op or post-op mistakes
Nurses work in all departments of the hospital and play a vital role in patient care. However, they are often understaffed and overworked, which can lead to serious mistakes. Common nursing mistakes that can put the hospital at risk for a malpractice claim include:
If a nurse gives a patient medication that could have a negative reaction to the patient’s existing medication, it could be grounds for a malpractice claim. Another form of medication-related error includes administering the incorrect medication or dosage.
A diagnosis-related error made by nurses can include many different things, such as a failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis. Nurses can commit erroneous diagnoses by failing to order the correct tests, obtain a diagnosis consultation, or address test results with the patient. Most common, diagnosis-related errors involve patients with infections, sepsis and abscesses.
In the case of a treatment-related error, a nurse may have failed to establish treatment in a proper or timely capacity. He or she may have used an incorrect technique, neglected to perform treatment or testing, failed to respond to a patient’s concern in a timely manner, or failed to adequately manage a patient’s complication.
Hospital Mistakes Can Result in Wrongful Death
If hospital mistakes result in the death of the patient, their loved ones may have grounds for a wrongful death suit in addition to medical malpractice. If the victim’s family can prove the patient died as a result of medical malpractice, a wrongful death claim is appropriate, and additional compensation would be provided by the hospital. Monetary compensation is higher in wrongful death suits than any other civil suit, including malpractice, due to the pain and suffering inflicted on the families.
Jackel & Phillips Can Help
Due to the stressful nature, complicated medical criteria and extensive liability issues, it can be difficult and ill-advised to pursue a medical malpractice case without experienced representation. It is imperative to have an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice on your side to answer questions, represent you in court, and gather the necessary evidence to help win your case. If you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim, the dedicated attorneys at Jackel & Phillips are here to help. Call us today for a free consultation.
At Jackel & Phillips, we have the experience, knowledge and compassion you need for the results you deserve