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Types of Hospital Malpractice: When Places of Healing Become Places of Harm
Hospitals are places of healing. Hospitals are also places of hectic emergency rooms where split-second decisions need to be made. They are places of operating rooms where even the slightest error or miscommunication could lead to disaster. They are full of hallways and recovery rooms that can be cluttered with equipment and machines. And they are places where the presence of so many ill people sharing the same spaces and same devices make them a breeding ground for bacteria and infections.
Hospitals, in sum, are places where all kinds of mistakes and malpractice occur that can lead to serious injuries and death.
If you were recently a patient in a Florida hospital and you suspect an error or incident has injured you or led to adverse health effects, you should contact an experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Hospital Malpractice
Some of the most common examples of hospital malpractice include:
Emergency room errors. There are 136.1 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the number of annual visits keeps rising. At the same time, the number of ER’s in the U.S. has declined. More patients in need of urgent care and fewer places for them to go with fewer doctors to treat them makes an already challenging situation even more so. That is just one reason that ER treatment is the basis of more medical malpractice claims than treatment in almost any other hospital department. Some of the most common ER errors that lead to malpractice claims include:
- Medication errors
- Misjudgment of symptoms
- Failure to properly triage (prioritize patients for treatment based on the seriousness of their condition)
- Delayed diagnosis
- Improper diagnosis by medical staff other than a doctor Unordered or incorrectly interpreted tests
- Poor communications
- Failure to monitor patient symptoms
Infections. Patients can get seriously ill simply from being in a hospital due to the widespread problem of “healthcare-associated infections” (HAI). The CDC estimates that approximately 1 of every 25 hospitalized patients in the United States has an HAI at any given time. About 722,000 hospital patients contracted an infection during their stay in 2011 alone.
These hospital infections are caused by bacteria and viruses that can thrive in a hospital, including on the equipment and instruments that come into contact with the body. Surgical site infections, central line infections, and catheter infections are just a few of the ways a patient can acquire an HAI. Infections caused by the hospital’s failure to meet the appropriate standard of care in cleaning equipment and maintaining a sterile environment can be the basis of a hospital malpractice lawsuit.
Bed sores. Also known as pressure ulcers, bed sores can develop when prolonged pressure is put on a given area of skin. In a hospital setting, this pressure is usually caused by immobility and lying in the same position for a long time. This can lead to painful sores which may start off as red or irritated skin but can then quickly evolve into broken skin, blisters, and open, bleeding wounds that are prone to potentially deadly infections. When a hospital patient develops bed sores, it is often the result of failures by medical professionals to meet the appropriate standard of care.
Medical malpractice suits, including suits against hospitals for negligence, are extremely complicated, and many investigatory steps need to be taken before a claim for compensation can be filed. Skilled Tampa medical malpractice attorneys have experience and knowledge in litigating claims for individuals who have been victims of serious medical errors.
Contact our Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorneys Right Away
Please contact an attorney today online to arrange for your free case evaluation.