View Our Practice Areas

Hospital Negligence: Important Facts to Know

October 23, 2013

In 2010, the estimated cases of hospital negligence according to the Journal of Patient Safety was anywhere from 210,000 to 440,000. These were patients in hospitals who suffered and died from a mistake committed by nurse, doctor, lab technician or intern. Have you or any member of your family suffered from hospital neglect? Have you been told by a hospital staff that the mistake was unintentional? Unfortunately, the issue is not about intention. The point is finding out if something happened that could have been prevented. If this is a thought that has crossed your mind, the next step should be to find out more about hospital negligence and how you could find redress for your trauma.

What Is Hospital Negligence

Hospital negligence is preventable harm to patients. It is an action or decision that led to the deterioration of a patient’s condition while being treated in a hospital. It’s about patients’ safety. It is also about the trust families and patients put in the hospital; a trust that was irrevocably damaged.

Preventable harm is like a nurse who gives the wrong dose or forgets to check on a patient. It is lab technician that sends the wrong test results or makes a mistake on something as simple as blood typing. There are many ways for any member of a hospital to make mistakes and although there is the aspect of "human error," it cannot be used in cases where in the error could have been prevented had the person paid more attention to his job. Hospital negligence is a serious violence because it can cause serious harm in the patients health and well-being.

Types of Hospital Negligence

There are multiple ways for the hospital to cause preventable harm to a patient. Some of the more common cases are:

  • Treatment or medicine that should have been given but wasn’t given
  • Wrong dosage or wrong diagnosis that led to the deterioration of condition
  • Wrong diagnosis
  • Malfunctioning medical equipment
  • Incorrect reading of a lab test
  • Inattention to patient
  • Poor documentation and maintenance of medical records

How to Pursue A Case of Hospital Negligence

The first requirement if you want to file a case of hospital negligence is to determine the cause of your injury or the cause of the death. Usually, the hospital is not liable for negligence on mistakes a doctor committed. Although there are exceptions like in the case of performing medical procedures while under the influence of alcohol or making mistakes because of extreme fatigue. Ultimately, negligence is usually filed on employees of the hospital and not the hospital itself.

You need to determine if the injury was caused by negligence of responsibilities and duties of an employee of the hospital. There are many cases when a patient suffered side effects from a treatment that causes complications. This is not a case of negligence but the result of an agreed course of action between the patient and the doctor. Negligence refers to a mistake made on something that should have been basic to your care.

You should gather all documents and files related to the incident and consult a lawyer when you suspect Hospital Negligence. If you are having a hard time deciding which lawyer in New York City to use, you should consider Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson.