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Hospital errors are often preventable if doctors, nurses, and other staff members follow appropriate procedures. Unfortunately, when procedures aren’t followed, serious injury, medical complications, or illness may be the result. If you were injured because of a hospital error, contact the Alabama hospital negligence attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. You may have options to recover compensation for your injuries and losses through a medical malpractice case.
When you go the emergency room or are admitted to the hospital, you expect the physicians to discover whatever is wrong with you and fix it. You hope that the problem is a relatively easy issue to fix with medication or a minor surgical procedure.
But the reality of the situation is rarely so simple when you’re in the hospital. It can take time to learn what’s going on in your body and it can take even longer to improve your health. Unfortunately, while you’re in the hospital you can be exposed to harmful bacteria and poor care, which can worsen your condition or cause other types of harm.
Through a medical malpractice case, you may be able to recover compensation for your:
- Medical costs
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Lost income
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of use of property
- Punitive damages
To learn more about your options, contact the Alabama hospital negligence attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. today.
Common Hospital Errors
There are a multitude of dangers in medical facilities, but common hospital errors that lead to injuries may include:
- Mixing Up Charts — While most hospitals have comprehensive systems for patient information, it’s still possible for a physician or nurse to look at the wrong chart before prescribing or administering a medication or ordering a procedure. By looking at another person’s information, the physician can cause a dangerous or even deadly error.
- Medication Errors — Prescribing the wrong medication, administering the wrong medication, or administering the wrong dosage are all common hospital errors that can harm patients. It’s possible for a physician to prescribe an incorrect medication or for a pharmacist or nurse to give a patient a different dose than what was prescribed. In all of these instances, the patient can have a severe reaction. The incorrect medication may negatively impact the patient’s condition or the patient’s condition could worsen because of not receiving the life-saving drugs they need.
- Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections — The length of time a person has a catheter in place is directly associated with an increased risk of a UTI. A UTI can be extremely painful and lead to serious problems with the patient’s kidneys. Catheter-associated UTIs account for about 40 percent of all hospital-acquired infections each year, according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
- Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections — These types of infections are one of the most deadly of all hospital-acquired infections, according to the IHI. They cause thousands of deaths in the U.S. every year. These infections occur because of poor care practices when placing central lines, which allow germs to enter the patient’s bloodstream.
- Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia — This is an infection in the lungs that occurs when a person is on a ventilator – a machine used to breathe for the patient. Germs can enter through the ventilator tube that is in the patient’s nose, mouth, or neck. Ventilator-associated pneumonia may be treatable with a variety of antibiotics, but is a serious condition that can be fatal for some patients, especially those with already weakened immune systems.
- Other Hospital-Acquired Infections — Medical facilities need to make a significant effort to avoid spreading bacteria from one patient to another. In addition to catheter- and central line-associated infections, patients are also in danger of surgical site infections, MRSA, and C difficile infections. All of these infections can be extremely difficult to treat, and can be deadly to patients who are already ill patients.
- Misreading X-rays or Scans — Hospitals often use X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to diagnose a patient’s illness. However, if a physician incorrectly reads the X-rays or looks at the wrong person’s scans, the patient might be misdiagnosed. Patients can end up not receiving the treatment they need for broken bones or cancer, or can be put on a treatment plan they don’t need.
- Anesthesia Errors — If the anesthesiologist is not extremely careful and knowledgeable about the patient, he or she can cause the patient permanent brain damage or other injuries. The anesthesiologist can give too much medication to the patient, allow the patient to receive too little oxygen, or fail to closely monitor the patient throughout a procedure.
Hospital Errors and Medical Malpractice Claims
If you suffered harm because of a preventable hospital error, you may be able to hold the nurse, doctor, or organization at fault responsible for your injuries. You can bring a medical malpractice claim against the individuals and organization you believe wronged you.
However, going up against a doctor backed by an insurance company or a large medical provider can be intimidating and extremely difficult. In most cases, the defendants will claim they did nothing wrong – after all, negative results or additional harms do not necessarily mean a nurse or physician was negligent in their care. Medical malpractice can be difficult to prove in court, which is why you should contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. right away.
The law surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits in Alabama is complicated, and you deserve to have experienced attorneys by your side who can navigate the insurance and court systems on your behalf.
Call an Alabama Hospital Negligence Attorney
If you choose to move forward with a medical malpractice claim, you may have the opportunity to settle with an insurer or you can take your case to trial for a jury’s verdict on your case. The hospital injury attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. will help you throughout the entire process. They’ve handled countless medical malpractice cases and achieved successful results on behalf of numerous people — including several results of $1 million or more.
Call the hospital negligence attorneys with Belt & Bruner, P.C. today at 205-933-1500 for a free consultation. Our lawyers will explain your legal options and guide you through the next steps in making your physical and financial recovery.