The number of people who die while being cared for in a hospital can only be estimated, but this type of wrongful death is not uncommon. In fact, a John Hopkins study in 2016 suggested that it may be the third leading cause of death in the United States. Wrongful death takes place when someone dies through negligence, and without this negligence, would still be alive. There are many reasons that a person can lose their life while in the hands of a professional medical staff at a hospital. There following are only three of the most common reasons:
Your loved one was given the wrong medication
Although it is true that there are protocols in place to make sure patients receive their proper medication, the system cannot prevent gross negligence. There are usually several mistakes that must be made in order to administer the wrong medication, so when this happens and the result is the death of a patient, there is usually a strong case for wrongful death.
Mistakes with surgery
You have likely heard of bad mistakes done during surgery. Leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient is one that is popularized in the media, but there are lesser known mistakes that can lead to death. Perhaps the most common is that of infection. A surgeon can make an incision in the wrong place or improperly close after the operation leading to an internal infection. This infection is not noticed until the patient takes a turn for the worse. At this point, it may be too late to do anything about the problem. This type of incident can occur during routine operations.
Your loved one's condition was not monitored properly
This can happen in many situations, but it is most common when someone is admitted to the hospital after arriving in the emergency room. Sometimes a patient will be neglected because the diagnosis was incorrect, even though the evidence suggested that the patient might be suffering from a particular illness, and at the very least, needed more tests done. Sometimes the monitoring needed is understood, but there is a shift change at the hospital and the monitoring of the patient was not handled properly.
Hospitals do their best to avoid any appearance of malpractice. They will usually explain how nothing could have prevented the death of your loved one. Or if the death was blatantly negligent, they will settle out of court to limit the publicity. If you suspect that your loved one has died due to the negligence of the medical staff, you should consult with an attorney that has experience in this area. This type of lawyer will be able to help determine if you have a case of wrongful death.
Contact a law office like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm for more information and assistance.