Hospitals, clinics and other treatment facilities should be places of healing. However, all too often patients find themselves worse off than before due to carelessness, poorly maintained equipment or other preventable issues. According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are over 250,000 deaths a year due to medical error.
The term “medical malpractice” is often associated with obvious cases of gross negligence on the part of a surgeon during a critical procedure. However, while cases of misdiagnosis or surgical mistakes are two of the most common suits that patients bring, there are many types of medical malpractice that may implicate doctors, hospital staff, pharmacists or even the care facility itself.
From recommending the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to failing to recognize the possibility of a dangerous drug interaction, a doctor may cause serious injury or even death with a faulty prescription. A pharmacy or pharmacist may also be responsible for dispensing a medication incorrectly.
Nurse, staff or facility negligence
While they do not hold the higher-profile position of doctors or surgeons, nurses and other hospital staff often carry out essential care duties that are crucial for maintaining and improving patient health. Whether purposefully or carelessly, these individuals may cause serious harm when they do not perform their responsibilities as they should. Additionally, the care facility itself may face malpractice charges if existing policies or procedures pose a preventable risk to patients.
Dealing with ongoing medical expenses
If a care professional or facility acts negligently and makes an individual’s condition worse, the patient may be able to recoup expenses for future treatment necessitated by that error as well as costs for past injuries. Additionally, the individual may be able to pursue compensation for pain and suffering resulting from medical mishandling.
It is important to note that Florida sets a two-year statute of limitations on claiming medical malpractice. While the intent behind this brief window is to help prevent frivolous suits, it may pose a barrier for those whose injury or illness is debilitating, so individuals should act quickly in cases of possible malpractice.