Hospital or medical facility errors cause injuries to patients every day throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. Though they are trusted to provide care and treatment, hospitals and other medical facilities are staffed by human beings: doctors, surgeons, nurses, technologists, therapists, housekeeping staff, and others, who sometimes make mistakes.
Medical malpractice in the form of hospital or surgical facility errors can cause serious harm and even loss of life. Patients are routinely treated and discharged within the same day from outpatient surgical facilities, and more patients are seen regularly in outpatient clinics for surgeries, invasive procedures, or administration of cancer drugs. Dialysis centers treat patients every day. Errors amounting to malpractice can occur in all such facilities, as well as in hospitals.
Suing a Hospital or Outpatient Facility
When something goes wrong in a medical facility, it can be a cause for a major medical malpractice lawsuit, but suing a big hospital corporation is not for the faint of heart.
In this article, we cover hospital and medical facility errors that commonly lead to medical malpractice lawsuits, and what to do if you find yourself affected by a hospital’s error.
Hospital and Medical Facility Errors – Examples
Operating Room Errors
To ensure that the basic elements of their treatment are executed properly, hospitals and surgical centers implement procedures. Preparation for surgery often includes marking the target area of the body with a permanent marker. Surgical teams use a “time out” in a operating room before use of a scalpel. This is to make sure that the surgical plan is understood and agreed upon by all involved. Yet still there are occasions when the wrong side is operated on or the wrong procedure done.
Surgeons and operating room staff are responsible for ensuring the safety and proper conduct of surgical procedures. Errors such as anesthesia mistakes or leaving foreign objects inside the body can result in severe harm. Introducing an infection, or failing to prevent a significant bleed are preventable errors. Some surgical mistakes lead to extended hospitalization, intensive care, or an unexpected lengthy rehabilitation period.
Administering incorrect medications, dispensing improper dosages or the wrong medication, or failing to take into account drug interactions or allergies can lead to adverse reactions ranging from mild to severe.
The worst reactions include:
- organ failure,
- severe respiratory distress,
- other systemic problems, or
- even death.
Errors in intravenous medications or IV sedation can cause unexpected trouble that can also lead to life-threatening or chronic health problems or death.
Infections and Hospital-Acquired Conditions
All medical facilities have a duty to maintain a clean and safe environment in order to ward off infections and infectious disease. Failure to follow proper protocols can lead to hospital-acquired infections or worsen an existing condition.
At their extremes, such infections as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, aka MRSA, and Clostridioides difficile (often called C. diff) can be fatal if not treated.
Sepsis, or septicemia, is a life-threatening form of viral or bacterial infection that can kill in a matter of only hours.
Failure to Monitor or Provide Adequate Supervision
Negligence in monitoring patients, both those requiring intensive care and those requiring more routine care, can result in catastrophic consequences. Laxity or inattention in an intensive care unit can lead to stroke, cardiac arrest, or organ failure. Failure to respond to a call for assistance in any hospital setting can result in a fall. Unnecessary complications can result.
Failing to prescribe appropriate medical devices to assist post- surgery can also lead to unnecessary consequences for patients or impede recovery.
Improper Maintenance or Housekeeping
Even a poorly-maintained door or water fountain, or an unmarked wet floor can cause injury in what should be a safe environment. It might not even be a patient, but a hospital visitor, who trips over a hazard, or falls down poorly lit parking garage steps.
Emergency Room Errors
Errors in triage, diagnosis, or treatment in the fast-paced emergency room environment can have serious consequences. This can include delayed care for life-threatening conditions, leading to death, or long-term consequences.
Hospital or Medical Facility Errors – Your Legal Recourse
If you or a loved one has been injured at a hospital facility, you have steps to take to pursue justice and compensation.
Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Step one is to seek legal advice from a reputable medical malpractice attorney who knows how to handle big malpractice cases. Going up against a hospital or big medical corporation is no joke. We will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case and help you to determine its viability.
You’ll need to collect all relevant medical records, test results, and any other records that can support your claim. Our skilled intake staff will work with you in obtaining the necessary evidence to build a strong case.
Expert Medical Review
We will consult with medical experts who can provide objective opinions on whether the care provided fell below the standard of care. This determination is required by Virginia law for malpractice cases.
Negotiation or Litigation
If possible, we will work on your behalf to obtain a fair settlement with the responsible parties or their insurance companies. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, we will pursue your case through litigation and advocate for your rights in court.
Damages and Compensation
You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered, for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other related damages if your claim is successful.
Experienced Representation for Hospital Mistakes
When hospitals and medical facilities make errors which harm patients, someone pays the price. It shouldn’t have to be the patient.
At Wallace Wason, PLLC, our dedicated team of medical malpractice attorneys has a proven track record. We have decades of successfully representing clients in these kinds of cases. We understand the complexities of large medical cases. That’s why we committed to helping victims seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.
Don’t wait to contact us for a free consultation. Our skilled intake team is ready for your call.