Five Examples of Hospital Negligence

Hospitals today within the state of New York are highly understaffed. They are simultaneously recovering from a huge labor demand during the pandemic that, according to a report released by the State Comptroller, exacerbated already stressed work and staff conditions. As such, hospital negligence is a common occurrence. This falls beneath the umbrella term of medical malpractice and pertains to any error or lapse in care by hospital staff that results in the injury or death of a patient.  The patient or a loved one is able and encouraged to file a medical malpractice lawsuit that can help them receive compensation for enduring any negligent act(s). It is important to know these common examples of hospital negligence for future reference, or if you or anyone you know is a candidate for awards. 

Infections and Hospital-Acquired Conditions

Hospitals have a responsibility to maintain a clean and safe environment and to prevent infections and other hospital-acquired conditions. Modern healthcare techniques can include invasive procedures or the use of harmful devices. According to the CDC, this causes patients to risk contracting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), such as bloodstream infections, UTIs, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Negligence in maintaining hygiene standards can also lead to infections such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) or C. difficile. 

Failure to Monitor Patients

Doctors and nurses are obligated to keep an eye out and attend to all patients in their care. This includes monitoring their condition and taking notice of any indications of trouble. There are a handful of situations during which patient monitoring is especially crucial— during a mother’s labor when a patient has been anesthetized, and when a patient is being surveyed or receiving treatment. Failure to keep track of a patient’s vitals can result in death and implicate anyone who had interacted with said patient, whose actions can be made liable. 

Lack of Informed Consent

A doctor performing a procedure on a patient without their consent breaches their right to self-determination and makes them eligible for compensation for any injuries they may have sustained due to the malpractice. Soliciting consent from a patient not only requires a recitation of the details of the procedure but also their understanding of the risks involved. An inadequate request for consent means the doctor has faltered in their obligation to the patient and their well-being. 

Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis

A doctor’s failure to employ the appropriate diagnoses, follow-up properly, or correctly read test results, can all result in grave consequences for the patient. If a person is told they are healthy despite being sick, the delay until they find out their actual condition could be enough time for things to worsen. These faulty diagnoses are based on the doctor’s failure to meet accepted standards of care and treatment from other health providers in similar circumstances. The most common misdiagnosis cases involve infections, heart disease, and cancer. On the other side, a healthy person could be told they are sick and end up paying for a costly treatment they did not need. In both cases, one should consult a personal injury attorney to assess their specific situation. 

Surgical Errors

These negligent acts are more common than one would like them to be— neurosurgeons face the highest risk of receiving a medical malpractice claim, with average verdicts for spinal surgery injury awards being upwards of $1 million per case. There are a number of ways a surgical error can take place, including surgery on the wrong side, the right side but the wrong site, the wrong patient, or the wrong procedure. 

Hospital negligence can be devastating to a patient’s future. With cases coming in many varieties, it becomes essential to look over the intricacies of your exact scenario with a personal injury attorney to determine what next steps you can make in, if applicable, receiving awards for any injuries incurred at the hands of hospital staff. At Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.L.P. our expert staff is eager to provide you with the necessary tools and aid you may need to ensure your medical and financial security. Contact us at 212-355-8000 for any of your personal injury case needs.