The Danger of Unreported Hospital Errors
In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Resources released a report revealing the shared occurrence of medical errors and the hospital staff’s shared negligence in reporting these errors to proper administration officials.
Hospital administrations require that their medical staffs report any errors that they have made. The reporting of these errors helps the hospital administration tweak their policies and procedures in ways that help prevent other patient injury or death. When these injuries are unreported, patients may suffer needlessly from repetitive mistakes.
Five of the most shared unreported hospital errors include:
1. Community infections, such as MRSA, caught in the hospital
2. Acute bedsores
3. The overuse of painkillers and later delirium
4. Excessive bleeding caused by the improper administration of blood thinners
5. Other medication errors
These errors affect over 130,000 patients every month and over 180,000 die from them a year– and these are solely Medicare patients. There are no statistics for how many patients overall are adversely affected by hospital errors.
Those experiencing from hospital errors are often our elderly family members who are unable to speak up on their own behalf. If you have a loved one who is entering or in a hospital, there are several steps you can take to help ensure their safety:
• Visit regularly and get to know the doctors and nurses who care for your loved one. Knowing that someone is watching out for the patient can keep up nurses and doctors accountable to a better standard of care.
• Know the medications that your loved one is on. Feel free to check in with the nursing staff to ensure that proper medications and dosages are being administered.
• Alert your loved one’s nurses and doctors if you notice any behavioral changes with your loved one. strange or distant behavior is often a sign that medications are being improperly administered or that a change in medications needs to occur.
• Don’t be afraid to contact the hospital administration if you are unhappy with the level of care your loved is receiving. Hospitals and medical staff are legally required to provide patients with a reasonable level of care, or they may be liable for medical malpractice.
If you have lost a loved one or have suffered needlessly because of what you think is a medical error in a hospital, you may consider filing a medical malpractice suit. Know that all medical errors are not eligible for malpractice suits. If a hospital administration or medical staff is unaware of an error, they can’t be held liable for it. Some circumstances, though, may warrant a medical malpractice suit. If, for example, the hospital was aware of a repeated medical error, then they may be held liable. Your best bet is to talk to an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice suits. Many of these attorneys will give you a free consultation to let you know if they think you have a malpractice case. If so, they will help you determine if a doctor or the hospital is responsible for your experiencing.
Medical errors should be reported and addressed. If the negligence of a medical staff caused you or a loved one pain and experiencing, or death, because of medical errors that were reported and ignored, don’t hesitate to call a malpractice attorney today to help you earn the compensation you fairly deserve.