People commonly think of medical malpractice in terms of individual health care providers, but hospitals and entire health care systems can be liable for causing patient harm. These facilities are also bound by a duty to provide care, and patients can suffer serious injuries through hospital negligence. According to the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, 19 of the 44 hospitals in South Florida received a C grade based upon responses to an in-depth survey. The remaining facilities, fortunately, were graded either A or B.
If you suffered harm because a hospital breached the duty of care, your rights and remedies are similar to medical malpractice actions. The legal process is equally complex, however, so it is wise to rely on a Miami hospital malpractice attorney for assistance. Some additional statistics on hospital malpractice in South Florida reveal substantial concerns in several key areas.
The Leapfrog survey results indicate that infections are a big problem, including urinary tract infection, C. Diff, surgical site infection after colon surgery, and blood infections. One of the most dangerous, MRSA, is resistant to antibiotics and can easily be spread via linens and medical instruments.
Problems with Surgery
For many patients undergoing a medical procedure, it is a nightmare to think that a surgeon could leave a dangerous object inside your body. Truthfully, this tragedy is relatively rare. The more pressing concerns for surgery include:
- Leaking or splitting at the surgical site;
- Fatalities due to treatable complications;
- Breathing issues during or after the procedure;
- Dangerous blood clots; and,
- Slicing into adjacent tissue and organs.
Facilities must take proper precautions to protect against mistakes by providers, so many rely on communication, technology, and other measures to prevent errors. Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and bar coding are effective for reducing orders and ensuring safe medication administration.
This category of hospital malpractice focuses on the general practices facilities employ to ensure patients do not suffer harm for reasons other than their immediate medical issue. In other words, no one should ever leave the hospital in worse condition based upon negligence by staff members. Problems in this category include:
- Patients developing bed sores;
- Patient slips, trips, and falls; and,
- Air embolisms or gas bubbles that form when inserting or removing tubes.
Issues With Providers and Staffing
Understaffing and lack of communication are a serious concern, especially when it comes to the nurses who provide the bulk of medical care in a hospital. Facilities should also ensure that the ER is sufficiently staffed by doctors qualified to deliver critical care.
Trust Our Miami Hospital Malpractice Lawyers to Advise You
These statistics on hospital misconduct are disturbing, but it is comforting to know that Florida law provides you with options. You may qualify to recover compensation for your losses, and our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA is ready to pursue all at-fault parties. To learn more about your rights, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL to schedule a no-cost consultation with an experienced attorney.