Hospitals and Medical Malpractice
Health care professionals have a certain duty to carefully follow safety guidelines in order to protect and treat their patients, but that duty of care is not always followed. According to the 2013 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis, medical malpractice payouts totaled $3.6 billion in 2012, and infections acquired during hospital visits cost the United States health care system about $10 billion a year to treat. Since malpractice is extremely common, it’s important to arm yourself with the facts in order to avoid becoming a victim.
According to a personal injury lawyer, malpractice can occur in a variety of situations when a patient is under medical professional care. This includes:
- Improper treatment
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Hospital negligence
- Emergency room errors
Misdiagnosis is the most costly and common medical malpractice claims, with cancer, heart attack, and infections as the most common wrongly diagnosed diseases.
Hospitals are supposed to be exceptionally clean and sanitary in order to prevent sick or injured patients from developing a worsening condition. However, a recent study shows that one out of every twenty patients admitted to the hospital will pick up an infection. According to a medical malpractice attorney of the Abel Law Firm, patients are put at an unnecessary risk when doctors, nurses, or other hospital staff members fail to properly disinfect a surface or tool.
The majority of these infections are surgical site infections and infections associated with the use of central lines, catheters, and ventilators. Surgical sites are the most common infections, costing around $21,000 to treat each infection and occurring in one out of every 50 operations. The second most common infections are associated with the bacteria C. difficile, costing about $11,000 each to treat. Central line-associated blood infections average about $45,000 per case, and pneumonia infections in patients who are put on ventilators cost about $40,000 per case.