What is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence includes any action that recklessly or intentionally causes an injury while a patient is receiving care. This can occur during a medical procedure or by delaying or denying crucial care. In fact, negligence can happen at any time during a hospital visit or stay. Quick and competent care should be provided to patients who need emergency treatment; however, as many Philadelphia hospital negligence victims have experienced, this does not always happen, and sadly, seeking medical care injures thousands of patients annually.
Three Types of Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence can be divided into three main categories – all of which are equally harmful. Regardless of category, these actions can inflict life-long injury and illness, if not death, to patients.
When someone working in a hospital fails to abide by the reasonable standard of care, this is a form of hospital negligence. The medical community is required to provide services in compliance with applicable standards of care to all patients. When these standards are not met, patients suffer. Patients have the right to expect and receive quality and appropriate medical attention from healthcare professions.
When a hospital worker’s negligence worsens a patient’s condition, the patient can often be left worse off than they were when they originally sought medical attention.
When the medical treatment received in a hospital setting results in new injury or illness,resulting injuries are legally actionable. This is unfortunately common in hospitals that fail to meet proper health and sanitation standards, as well as with healthcare professionals who act recklessly.
Common Examples of Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence can manifest in a variety of ways. Sadly, these events are far more common than people realize, and for vulnerable patients they often prove deadly. It’s recommended that hospital negligence victims seek the legal guidance of an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney to determine the best course of action. Common forms of hospital negligence include:
- Receiving care in critical time can mean life or death for a patient, depending on their injury or illness. When healthcare professionals – such as emergency room staff, nurses, and physicians – fail to properly assess and treat patients in a timely manner, a multitude of problems can result for patients. Serious medical conditions – such as heart attacks, internal bleeding, and strokes – require immediate medical attention, and any time wasted could have devastating effects.
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis can have effects similar to those resulting from a failure to provide care in time, as the delay in correct diagnosis prolongs the wait for needed medical treatment. Patients trust that physicians and nurses are competent and able to correctly assess their symptoms and injuries; and when they don’t, patients suffer.
- Surgical errors can cause deadly infections and other serious medical issues that require additional surgery, like internal bleeding. Surgical errors can also include physicians and operating room staff leaving surgical tools or other surgical materials inside a patient causing serious internal injuries. Additionally, failure to properly sanitize an operating room, surgical tools, and/or perform proper hand hygiene can inflict harm onto patients.
- Prescription medication errors can leave patients with lifelong problems or even kill them. Patients given the incorrect dosage or incorrect prescription are at risk of death and serious illness if a severe reaction is triggered. Patients can be given too much or inadequate amounts of medication needed to treat their conditions, as well as be prescribed the incorrect medication, either of which can cause injury.
- Inadequate sanitation and health standards can cause a hospital to become a breeding ground for highly infectious bacteria and viruses. Hospitals require a significant level of sanitation and regular thorough cleaning to protect vulnerable patients receiving care. Dirty bed linens, reused medical equipment, and a general lack of routine cleaning with proper supplies leaves victims and their loved ones susceptible to further illness and injury, such as staph infections and other hospital superbugs.
While these are just some of the common causes of hospital negligence, victims can sustain injuries and illness for many reasons. Increasing hospital negligence-related accidents signals that healthcare providers have shifted away from their oaths to provide proper care to patients.
Philadelphia Hospital Negligence Attorneys
Sadly, Philadelphia hospitals have a reputation for failing patients; however, this does not mean that those seeking medical care in Philadelphia deserve to be victims of hospital negligence. All patients deserve to have their medical concerns listened to and properly assessed, in order to receive necessary and quality treatment for their condition. Hospitals that fail to meet this standard and provide such care to patients should be held responsible for their actions. If you or someone you know has been a victim of hospital negligence in Philadelphia, contact our medical malpractice attorneys immediately to discuss your options at no charge. Time limitations apply to your potential claims, so do not delay in contacting a lawyer to get help and find out about your legal options.