Medical malpractice occurs in hospitals across the country and across the Commonwealth every day. In many cases, those harmed by the wrongdoing of a medical professional recover and return to their normal lives. In other cases, patients suffer permanent harm and disability; and some die due to the wrongdoing. In a number of these incidents, it is possible to hold the hospital or the health care professional accountable for the wrongful act. Virginia law provides just and fair compensation when the doctor, hospital, or other health care professional causes wrongful harm.
Hospitals and their employees are responsible for the care of their patients. Medical malpractice in hospitals can result from the error or negligence of any caregiver in a hospital setting. This includes:
- Doctors and hospitalists
- Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians
- Nursing assistants
- Technicians involved in tests or procedures
A medical malpractice case can only be filed against a hospital or a hospital employee when:
- The hospital or the health care provider had a responsibility to the patient;
- This responsibility was violated;
- The violation of responsibility resulted in harm to the patient; and
- The malpractice caused harm to the patient that resulted in an injury that can be compensated.
Medical malpractice most commonly results from:
- Failure to diagnose or significant delay in diagnosing a patient. In these cases, the failure of the doctor to diagnose an injury or illness typically denies the patient timely treatment of the injury or illness. This is assessed by comparing the doctor’s actions to a “standard of care” provided by other doctors under the same conditions.
- Surgical Errors. These cases can include a wrongdoing in assessing whether a patient is an appropriate surgical candidate, a wrongdoing made during surgery, and the failure to prudently manage a patient after surgery.
- Childbirth injuries. Harm to the fetus due to the negligence of a doctor could occur both during prenatal care or delivery of the child.
- Wrong medications administered. According to a study conducted in 2006 more than 1.5 million people are harmed by incorrect medications each year. Often, medication errors are made in the dosage administered to the patient.
- Mistakes or negligence when administering anesthesia. Harm, including brain damage, could result from a mistake in the amount of anesthesia administered, failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery, intubation mistakes, or use of defective equipment. To the surprise of many, anesthesia mistakes are often more dangerous than surgical errors.
- Infection caused by failure of the hospital to maintain necessary cleanliness and care to prevent infection.
If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed or injured due to medical malpractice while being treated in a hospital or at the hands of a healthcare provider, or if a loved one has died as a result of medical malpractice, call Altizer Law, P.C. Bettina has the compassion, the experience, and the determination to pursue legitimate medical malpractice compensation.