Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has ruled that the new law mandating that medical malpractice cases must first be presented to medical review panels is unconstitutional.

This decision is a boost for people who have suffered injuries in the care of providers. Medical review panels add an additional obstacle to people seeking justice due to substandard care.

The law had the effect of protecting wealthy professionals and institutions from claims by ordinary people who happened to be injured while being treated.

A patient ID mix-up is one of the worst medical mistakes that can happen at a Kentucky hospital. Depending on when it takes place and how much time passes before it is corrected, the consequences of this kind of mistake can be fatal. To make matters worse, one patient ID mix-up frequently affects another patient as well.

The ECRI Institute has conducted a study examining the problem of patient ID mix-ups. The ECRI’s Patient Safety Organization conducted a review of 7,613 wrong-patient events and found that ID mix-ups are a significant problem in health care. The reports of adverse events were submitted voluntarily by 181 health care organizations from January 2013 to July 2015.

Researchers found that patient ID mix-ups can be made at any point in a patient’s healthcare journey, and any member of a patient’s hospital team can make the mistake. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists or lab technicians could misread a patient’s ID, leading to a wrong or missed procedure, medication or test. A patient could even be misidentified during hospital registration, and the patient’s ID could have an error at the beginning of treatment. Standardized identification protocols may be used to reduce the number of patient ID mix-ups in hospitals.

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one after receiving treatment in a hospital, you could have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim. However, this is much easier said than done as you will need to prove that the negligence caused or contributed to your injuries and identify the negligent party.

Oftentimes, people assume that it is only a specific doctor or nurse who will be held accountable. However, hospitals can also be named in medical negligence claims, but there are some important things you should understand if you want to sue a hospital. 

  1. Hospitals have more resources than individual doctors do. This means that they can and often do go to great lengths to defend themselves against malpractice claims; they can also seek settlements for a fraction of what a court might award a victim. On the other hand, in the event that a court rules against a hospital, the chances of receiving all or more of a settlement is higher than if it were just an individual party.
  2. Hospitals aren’t always responsible for doctor or nurse negligence. If a doctor made a mistake or infection-causing contamination resulted from a careless staff member, a hospital could be held responsible for that individual’s actions thanks to vicarious liability laws. However, if the negligent party is not an employee of the hospital, these liability laws would not apply and the hospital may not be responsible.
  3. It may not always be clear if a hospital was negligent. Bad things can happen in hospitals, from criminal activity to sickness and loss. However, these events may not stem from negligence; they could happen in spite of the best efforts of hospital administration and employees.

These are just a few of the many things to keep in mind if you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim against any party, including a hospital. There are many other factors you will need to take into account that will depend on the specifics of your situation, so it is critical to consult an attorney with any questions you may have regarding the filing of a medical malpractice claim.

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