Injuries to patients should never occur in a hospital setting. However, careless acts resulting in physical injury occur far too frequently in facilities designed to save lives, cure illnesses, and mend injuries. Failure to act can also be considered negligence, which is especially serious when abuse occurs in an assisted living facility or nursing home. In the most severe circumstances of hospital negligence, wrongful death may occur.
For these reasons, it is critical to understand the main indicators that a hospital or care center may be irresponsible. If you have any further questions, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.
What Exactly Is Negligence at a Hospital or Care Facility?
Negligence is defined as a failure to exercise reasonable care, which causes harm to another person. A hospital is expected to keep its patients in a reasonably safe setting. When this does not occur, and a patient suffers as a result, a hospital may be held responsible.
Hospitals and their personnel are required to provide care that meets or exceeds the standard of care. To establish hospital negligence, it must be established that a standard of care was not fulfilled. A hospital or other medical care facility can be held liable for the negligent behavior of its workers in numerous cases. Hospital negligence might include physician and nursing malpractice, specialist, therapist, or surgeon blunders, custodial staff faults, and even administrative failures.
Negligence in a hospital or care facility typically includes:
- Misdiagnosis, inability to diagnose, or late diagnosis
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Equipment that has not been sterilized
- Birth trauma
- Errors in nursing
- Inadequate patient monitoring
- Patient consent violation
- Medical equipment that is of poor quality, poorly maintained, or is malfunctioning
- Errors in medication dose or prescription
- Surgical wounds
- Walking paths with slick surfaces or barriers
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Injuries sustained during pediatric heart surgery
- Errors in the emergency room
Hospital negligence is typically the result of an employee error or an administrative failure to create a safe environment. If the negligent doctor or nurse was a hospital employee, if more than one person on the medical team was responsible for the error, if an administrative error directly caused injury, or if a hospital staff member negligently performed a task assigned to them by their supervisor, the hospital may be held liable for negligence.
Hospitals are not the only medical facilities where mistakes can happen. Nursing homes, long-term care institutions, birth centers, health clinics, and other healthcare facilities are all subject to the standards of care that a patient should expect. Learn how to uncover complaints made against a hospital or nursing home in Pennsylvania if you are looking for a facility for yourself or a loved one.
The Most Common Signs of Hospital Negligence
Let’s take a look at some of the obvious warning signals that a hospital or other sort of care facility is permitting neglect to occur under its roof. Subpar healthcare should never be accepted as the standard. If you have a “not quite right” feeling about the medical care you are receiving, do not be afraid to seek a second opinion from another hospital or speak with a personal care physician you know and trust.
In the following article, we will go through some of the most common indications of hospital negligence. However, keep in mind that these are not the only symptoms of negligence—and not every sign on the list proves that negligence is at work. Proving hospital negligence takes extensive legal knowledge, and any more questions should be directed to your medical malpractice counsel.
The red flags outlined below will be grouped into three categories: patient safety, staff issues, and patient medical care—three of the most typical areas of carelessness in a hospital or care center.
- faulty equipment
- Stairways, elevators, chairs, and bathrooms that are in disrepair
- ignoring patient safety requirements
- Pathways that are slick or obstructed
- There are no warnings warning of moist floors.
- Failure to employ bed rails and other fall-prevention measures for patients at risk
- Inadequate monitoring of high-risk patients
- Improper application of physical constraints
- Incorrect use of anesthetic
- There are no fire or safety alarms.
- Spills that are not cleaned up right away
- Employees that are impolite, dissatisfied, absent, or appear to be exhausted or distressed
- When a patient phones for assistance, there is a long wait period.
- Employees that are poorly trained and have difficulties answering questions
- Overworked or underpaid employees that are clearly dissatisfied with their jobs
- Staff members are not adequately supervised.
- Communication breakdown among those involved in a patient’s care
- Nursing and physician miscommunication
- The staff consistently has horrible bedside manners.
Medical Treatment for Patients
- Patient discharge as soon as possible
- Infection rates are high, and many infections go untreated.
- Suffering from post-surgery pain
- Failure to take vital signs adequately
- a lack of diagnostic or treatment equipment
- Inattention and unusually extended wait times in an emergency room
- Unneeded surgery
- Infrequent visits by nurses and doctors
- Receiving the incorrect drug, dose, or medication at the incorrect time
- Errors in medical charts and records
- Nurses who fail to report a patient’s complaints and symptoms to a doctor
- Inadequate follow-up
How Lawyers Can Assist in the Fight Against Hospital Negligence
We have seen how medical malpractice lawyers can assist make hospitals and healthcare facilities safer for patients at Shrager & Sachs. In 1991, our founder, David Shrager, won a landmark case in which a hospital was held accountable for misconduct.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined in Thompson v. Nason Hospital that hospitals and their parent corporations can be held accountable for medical malpractice. This significant judgment in Thompson’s favor established direct responsibility against hospitals for negligence in the state of Pennsylvania.
As personal injury attorneys with a track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, we are always thrilled to witness examples of healthcare safety improvement. We remain committed to leveraging our legal position to draw attention to areas of hospital safety that can be improved.