People count on hospitals in times of need. Whether it is during a medical emergency, for life-saving surgery, or because of other conditions requiring the kind of intensive care and treatment only a hospital can provide, hospitals are places of healing. They are also places where any number of things can go horribly wrong – and they do go wrong with alarming frequency. No one expects doctors, nurses, and other health care workers to perform miracles, but hospital patients and their families do expect that they will be treated with the appropriate and expected level of care and competence.
When that doesn’t happen, and hospital patients suffer serious adverse health effects or pass away because of medical errors or negligence, they and their families deserve answers, they deserve justice, and they deserve to have those responsible for their losses held accountable.
At Alley, Clark & Greiwe, our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys work with those whose lives have been forever changed because of hospital malpractice. For every client we have the privilege to represent, we bring to bear decades of experience and a deep and expansive understanding of the complex legal and medical issues involved in such cases. Our commitment to the well-being of our clients is unwavering, and we are relentless in the pursuit of compensation and resources for the victims of hospital errors.
Hospitals Pose Many Inherent Dangers
According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, over 250,000 Americans die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. A big percentage of those errors occur in a hospital setting, and it doesn’t take an expert to understand why.
In hectic emergency rooms, split-second decisions need to be made, often with little or incomplete information about the patient’s condition or medical history. During surgeries, even the slightest error or miscommunication could lead to catastrophe. Hospital hallways and recovery rooms are cluttered with equipment and machines which present hazards of their own. And in a building with so many ill people sharing the same spaces and same devices, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria and infections.
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). While that number keeps rising, the number of ER’s in the U.S. has declined, making a setting already ripe for error even more so. That is just one reason that ER treatment is the basis of more medical malpractice claims than 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.
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. When a hospital patient develops bed sores, it is often the result of failures by medical professionals to meet the appropriate standard of care.
Let a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney at Alley, Clark & Greiwe Help
Medical malpractice suits, including suits against hospitals for errors and negligence, are extremely complicated and under Florida law many investigatory steps need to be taken before a claim for compensation can be filed. The experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at the law firm of Alley, Clark & Greiwe are Board-certified trial attorneys and have been recognized by the legal community for their experience and knowledge in litigating claims for individuals who have been victims of serious hospital errors.
Please call us at 813-222-0977 or contact us online to arrange for your free case evaluation.