The majority of Americans trust their doctors and other health professionals to take care of them to the best of their ability, and without medical error or mistake. In most cases, these patients’ trust is well-placed, and they receive the high quality level of care all of us deserve. But, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers are human beings, and thus subject to fatigue, carelessness, and error like anyone else. When medical malpractice or negligence leads to someone’s injury or death, however, the victims of such medical error deserve to be compensated by the responsible medical professionals.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in many ways and at any level of care. Hospital personnel can cause injury or death to patients through negligence in surgery; pre- or post-surgical care; prescription and administration of medications; misuse of equipment; and the use of improper equipment. Hospitals, themselves, may be found to have negligently caused a patient’s death or injury as a result of the negligent hiring and training of hospital personnel or the failure to ensure the reliability and accuracy of equipment.
Doctors and nurses may also commit medical negligence during more routine care of a patient. Misdiagnoses of illnesses during office visits, delayed diagnoses of illnesses, or failures to diagnose illnesses altogether may lead to a patient’s serious injury or wrongful death. Even when an illness has been properly and timely diagnosed, malpractice can occur as a result of inappropriate or inadequate treatment and monitoring of the patient’s illness. Childbirth injuries and deaths may also result from medical malpractice, and may affect the mother, her child, or both. These are only a few of the myriad examples of medical malpractice that may occur every day in doctor’s offices and hospitals around the country.
If you or a family member has died or been injured and you suspect that the death or injury was caused by any form of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your family have suffered through the institution of a medical malpractice action against the individuals and entities responsible. The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience with all types of medical malpractice cases and are dedicated to seeing that justice is done when someone has been injured or killed due to the carelessness of medical professionals. Contact The Killino Firm at (215) 569-1299 for a free evaluation of your case and more information about your legal options.
Legal Liability for Injuries or Deaths Caused by Medical Malpractice
Hospitals, healthcare agencies or groups that employ medical professionals, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel may be held liable for patients’ injuries or deaths that are found to have been caused by the negligence of such entities or personnel.
Negligence of Doctors and Other Health Professionals
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can cause injury or death to a patient in a hospital or office setting. Negligence in hospitals may occur through errors in surgery, such as operating on the wrong patient or on the correct patient but on the wrong part of that patient’s body, leaving instruments inside a patient’s body after surgery, using the wrong type of suture, failing to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs during surgery, or failing to detect malfunctions in equipment on which the patient’s safety or life depend.
Medical professionals may also cause injuries or deaths to patients through medical negligence that is committed outside a hospital setting. Failing to listen to a patient’s complaints and take them seriously, for example, may lead to a failure to diagnose a serious illness and result in serious injury or death. Prescribing the wrong medical tests, given the patient’s symptoms, may also lead to a failure to diagnose a patient’s illness.
In some cases, though a patient’s illness may have been correctly diagnosed and adequately treated for a time, the patient’s condition may not have been appropriately followed up and monitored, so that a relapse or worsening of the condition may develop and go undetected. An injury or death that results from such a failure to carry through a patient’s treatment for an appropriate length of time may also result in liability by the treating medical professionals.
Negligence of Hospitals
Hospitals may be found either directly or indirectly liable for injuries or deaths caused by their negligent employees. They may also be held directly liable for injuries or deaths caused by negligence unrelated to their employees.
When a doctor or other medical professional who is employed by a hospital is found to have negligently caused a patient’s injury or death, the hospital, as the negligent health professional’s employer, may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for the injuries or death caused by its employee. If the hospital is found to have been negligent in screening, hiring, training, and/or retaining such an employee, the hospital may be found directly liable for the injuries or deaths caused by the negligent employee.
Hospitals may also be held directly liable for injuries or deaths caused in other ways. If a patient’s injury or death is found to have been caused by unsanitary conditions due to negligent hospital maintenance, unhealthy food preparation, or inadequate precautions against the contraction of disease or illness during a patient’s hospital stay, for example, the hospital may be held directly liable in a malpractice action for the resulting injury or death of the patient.
Medical mistakes often result in injuries or deaths that could have been prevented had a patient’s doctor and other treating medical professionals exercised the duty of care owed by such professionals to all their patients. If you have been injured or a family member has died as a result of medical carelessness or mistake, The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, medical malpractice attorneys can help you fight for the justice you and your family deserve. Contact us at (215) 569-1299 for expert and compassionate assistance with your case.