Going into the hospital for a routine procedure should not result in further injury or death. However, there are times when mistakes or negligent behavior causes the death of a patient. When a person dies under the care of a healthcare professional, especially in a hospital setting, many questions may crop up. If during the investigation, it becomes more apparent that the death was due to a brach in the duty of care, those left behind may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Take a look at four instances which may warrant a suit in a medical setting.
- The Hospital’s Missteps
Hospitals are not immune to negligent behavior, and in fact, they can be a hotbed of serious issues waiting to surface. Hospitals are businesses, and as such, they may sometimes focus more on the bottom line than on patient health. Some of the issues that may point the finger at the hospital include:
- Failure to properly check the staff’s license status
- A lax approach to sanitary protocols such as proper room sanitization, hand washing, instrument disinfectant and the like
- Staffing too few nurses and support staff
- Keeping employees who have been disciplined repeatedly for violations in safety
If a patient dies in a hospital that is trying to cut corners to save money, it may find itself in hot water legally.
- Misdiagnosis by a Physician
One of the most significant issues doctors face in malpractice suits is misdiagnosis. While it is not always possible for them to catch everything the first time around, some warning signs should not be ignored. A delay in doing so could mean the difference between life and death, primarily if early intervention and treatment result in the possibility of recovery.
- Improper Medicine Dispensed
Medication allergies can quickly lead to catastrophic results. Patients given the wrong medicine may suffer from anaphylactic shock or worse. When a nurse or orderly gives someone medication that they are allergic to, it may result in death reasonably fast.
- Charting Issues
Patient charting is a critical element in hospitals and clinics. Every note on patient allergies, medications dispensed and all doctors’ orders must be written in the chart so that every other person who comes in to care for that person can see an entire record at a glance. Sometimes, however, things may not get written down, or they may get written down incorrectly. When these errors result in death, the hospital may be found negligent.
You may want to seek the guidance of a wrongful death lawyer, especially since the laws governing the process vary from state to state. Winning a wrongful death suit may help settle the deceased’s medical bills and debts.