The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that close to two million hospital patients every year in the U.S. develop infections that could have been prevented. It is also estimated that nearly half of these victims will die. In 2004, the sixth leading cause of death for adults in America was infection born in hospitals. Infections are only one example of damage caused by hospital mistakes.
Most of us assume that the hospital is one of the safest places we could be. We don’t realize that hospitals are responsible for a shocking number of illnesses, injuries and deaths every year. When a physician or medical professional treats a patient, he or she is expected to maintain a certain level of skill and prudence to ensure his or her patients’ safety. If a doctor fails to live up to these standards and the result is an injury, death or another form of damage, he or she can be held liable for negligence.
Health care professionals are required to maintain a standard level of care. If a doctor fails to maintain that standard and a patient dies or is injured he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.
Common hospital mistakes include:
- Prescription errors: Prescription errors account for around 7,000 deaths each year, and typically involve the wrong type of medication being prescribed, prescribing a medication the patient is allergic to and wrong doses.
- Emergency room errors: Doctors and nurses in an emergency room need to be extremely well organized. When things become unsanitary, unorganized or individuals act negligently, serious injuries occur.
- Childbirth mishaps: Mistakes by doctors during childbirth involve some sort of reckless or negligent action that leads to the child’s death or a long-term disability like Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy or brain damage.
- Surgical errors: Surgical errors include a variety of things that can go wrong; most seriously, performing a surgical procedure on the wrong patient.
- Failures to diagnose: The failure to diagnose a condition or illness can deprive the patient of critical treatment he or she requires to get healthy and in some cases can lead to death. A majority of inaccurate diagnoses happen in emergency rooms.
Another error that people do not hear about as much involves hospital fires. If machinery or other surgical equipment malfunctions, fires can start. These fires can be extremely dangerous and further injure the patient. Many doctors and medical staff are not properly trained on what to do if a fire should start. This leads to panic and further injury that should have been avoided.
Consult With an Experienced Chicago Hospital Lawyer
If you are a victim of a hospital mistake, you may have a medical malpractice claim. The qualified Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, have successfully litigated thousands of injury claims and obtained substantial awards for victims of medical malpractice in the Greater Chicago area. We have board-certified physicians on staff ready to review your claim and help you or your loved one seek justice.