Almost 20 years ago, the Institute of Medicine released a report estimating that mistakes in hospitals resulted in 98,000 fatalities each year. In 2010, bad hospital care was blamed as contributing to the deaths of 180,000 patients on Medicare alone. The number rose again just three years ago when a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety revealed that as many as 440,000 people each year who seek hospital care suffer a preventable adverse event that contributes to their death. Hospital errors are also likely responsible for 10,000 instances of serious complications each day. These alarming numbers underscore the need for hospitals to make patient safety a priority.
If you have been injured by hospital negligence, or if such negligence has proven injurious or fatal to someone you love, the Philadelphia hospital error attorneys of Wapner Newman can review your case and advise you whether you have grounds to seek financial compensation. Serving communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our Eastern PA medical negligence lawyers believe that harm due to a hospital’s mistake or omission is unacceptable. We invite you to discuss your unique situation by calling us at 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form.
Medical malpractice is generally defined as any action (or inaction) by a healthcare provider that departs from accepted medical practices and causes patient injury. When a hospital employee fails to provide proper care in the course of his or her duties, the hospital can be held responsible for any resulting patient harm. This liability encompasses all staff members, such as nurses, paramedics and technicians. Whether a doctor is an employee of the hospital or an independent contractor depends on the nature of his or her relationship with the hospital. Determining employment status and assigning fault in medical malpractice cases can get complicated, so it’s important to speak with an experienced hospital negligence lawyer who can identify all the proper parties.
Common examples of hospital malpractice by employees include:
- Delayed diagnosis/failure to diagnose
- Failure to monitor a patient
- Failure to order proper tests
- Foreign object left inside patient after surgery
- Improper reading of tests
- Improper anesthesia
- Improper treatment for the diagnosis
- Unnecessary surgery
- Wrong diagnosis
- Wrong medication or wrong dose
- Wrong site surgery.
Patients can also be injured by the practices of a hospital, such as:
- Failure to check that every staff member and independent contractor has the proper credentials
- Failure to safeguard narcotics from employee abuse
- Failure to use reasonable care in supervising all health care professionals that use the facility
- Improper or insufficient employee training
- Improper recordkeeping
- Inadequate staffing
- Nonfunctioning equipment
- Unsafe grounds/dangerous conditions
- Unsanitary supplies.
The frequency of errors, accidents, injuries, and infections has prompted a nonprofit organization to assign a “Hospital Safety Score” twice a year to more than 2,500 hospitals across the country. Based on 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, the score was last calculated in Fall 2015. All of the 67 New Jersey hospitals that were evaluated rated a “C” or above. Of the 131 Pennsylvania hospitals examined, Memorial Hospital in York and Ohio Valley General Hospital in McKees Rocks ranked a “D” while Canonsburg General Hospital and Clarion Hospital each got the dreaded “F” rating. More information about the specifics behind the ratings is available online.
Victims of hospital malpractice are entitled to financial compensation, which will most likely be paid by the hospital’s insurance carrier. Recoverable damages include lost wages, past and future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. A successful medical malpractice suit also serves to alert the hospital to significant problems that should be addressed in order to prevent the same mistake from happening to another patient.
There are far too many patients whose health is made worse by hospital errors. In addition to the physical damage, hospital medical malpractice can carry a hefty price tag, and patients have gone bankrupt trying to pay medical bills that they would not have had if they had not been injured by a negligent medical provider or facility. If a hospital mistake has harmed you or someone in your family, you need an advocate on your side – someone who will protect your rights and who is determined to get you the compensation you deserve.
For almost 40 years, the Philadelphia hospital negligence attorneys at Wapner Newman have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. We encourage you to contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form.