Protecting Patients From Unsafe Hospital Policies
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, occurs when a healthcare professional fails in the follow required standards of care, and injures a patient as a result. In legal terms, it means that there was a duty of care owed to a patient. The health care professional breach, or violated, this duty of care; and said breach was the cause of the patient's injuries and damages. Determining what the standard of care can be complicated. There are many factors that are considered when answering the question of what the provider did or should have done, such as what the patient's age, sex, and history are, or what the presently known symptoms of the patient at the time were, or whether there has already been a diagnosed condition or not. However, generally speaking, the standard of care is what the generally accepted methods used by other area doctors and healthcare professionals on similarly situated patients with similar conditions at the time.
The Types Damages We Seek to
Recover From the Responsible Party:
- Lost of Consortium and House Hold Services
- Past and Future Medical Expenses
- Past and Future Lost Wages
- Past and Future Pain and Suffering
- Past and Future Mental Anguish
- Past and Future Physical Impairment
Medical Malpractice Claims and Injuries
A hospital should not be but often is a dangerous place. We go to the hospital in our most vulnerable time; our time of greatest need. Trust and surrender are our only choices. When that trust is violated the consequences are often devastating. The medical community has a name for the unnecessary harm that hospital patients often suffer: Never Events.
Nursing Staff Medical Malpractice
One of the primary responsibilities of hospital nursing staff is to monitor patients for early detection of complications. If a patient is not properly monitored the health care providers lose the opportunity to intervene in time to prevent harm. When a patient is simply forgotten or ignored the problem is usually because the hospital is poorly managed and the medical personnel are short staffed. Ultimately, the patient's injury or death is a direct result of poor management practices and the business decision to cut corners at the risk of danger to the hospital patients.
Even if medical negligence occurred at a hospital, it does not mean the hospital itself is automatically liable. Generally speaking, hospitals, like all employers, are liable for the harms caused by their negligent employees. However, most doctors at hospitals are independent contractors - meaning they are not employed by the hospital.
Typically, nurses, medical technicians, support staff, nutritionist, and administrators are hospital employees. If a patient is injured while being treated by a hospital employee, the patient can usually sue the hospital for resulting damages.
In any medical malpractice case you must show exactly how your injury was caused by medical negligence. When it comes to doctors,you must first establish what the required standard of care was, and whether your doctor failed to meet the standard. Second, you must show how that failure in standard of care caused your specific injuries and damages.
Failure to diagnose is when your doctor failed to connect the dots between your symptoms and underlying condition. Misdiagnosis may also be a failure to diagnose, but it normally refers to when your doctor incorrectly believes you have an underlying condition when you actually suffer from another; and the doctor should have known the correct diagnosis to make. Delayed diagnosis is when your doctor isn't fast enough in making the connection between your symptoms and the underlying condition.
Common Failures with Diagnosing Patients:
- Failure to admit or treat Patient
- Failure to order necessary diagnostic or radiological tests (x-rays, CT scans, MRI);
- Failure to consider and diagnose symptoms;
- Failure to note or act upon patient complaints or family concerns;
- Failure to communicate or record information - a break in the continuity of care
- Failure to respond appropriately
Medical neglect, where the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention, prevention, or medication for concerns such as bed sores, infections, cuts, diabetes, cognitive diseases, and mobility concerns.
Negligent Supervision- Where the elder person is repeatedly ignored, left alone, or disregarded.
Basic needs neglect, where the nursing home neglects to provide reasonable food, water, or a safe and clean environment.
Hygienic Neglect - where patients do not receive adequate help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth, or other forms of hygienic practices.
All surgeries involve risk. Surgical errors go beyond the known risks of surgery. Common surgical negligence include:
- Injuring nerves or ligaments during the procedure;
- Leaving equipment or material inside the patient's body;
- Operating on the wrong body part;
- Incorrectly performing the incision; and
- Administrating pre and post operative medication incorrectly.
Birth-related medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other medical staff acts negligently, fails to follow the standards of care for patient safety, and causes one of the following harms:
- Injury to the mother or child during pregnancy or delivery.
- Failure to Warn -- When the parents should have ended or avoided a pregnancy for safety or health reasons.
- Birth Defects caused by negligent prenatal care or misdiagnosis.
Taking The Right Approach - Advocating for Patient Safety
The Kemmy Lawyers spend a considerable amount of time in the courtroom, and in front of juries. However, going to trial can always be a risk. In recent years, insurance companies and other corporations have spent billions to run a remarkable propaganda campaign against trial lawyers and their clients. They have been so effective that jurors are now often suspicious of injured victims who have hired a trial lawyer to hold the wrongdoer accountable. However, with the right approach, we have found that when jurors actually hear about a legitimate injury caused by the violation of basic safety rules that we all depend on, they are fair and just with their verdict.