Thursday, July 9, 2009

Medical Negligence: What is it?

Medical Negligence: What is it, Why is it common, and what should you do in the event that it happens to you?What is medical negligence? Very simply, it is negligence by a healthcare provider or healthcare worker. When a healthcare worker does things or fails to do things that result in injury to a patient, medical negligence has occurred. An example can be found in the Raleigh News and Observer article “Three Fired in Death of Patient.” This article, which appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer on November 20th, described a case where a mental patient died after going without food or water for 22 hours. According to the article, “Hospital employees played cards and watched television nearby,” while the patient choked on medication, hit his head and was left in a chair. The hospital employees were negligent in a few different areas: they let the man go without food or water for so long and they ignored him when he was choking. Even if they did not know how to treat him, they should have notified a doctor, nurse, or someone else that would know how treat him. Several of the employees in this case were disciplined in different ways â€" some received warnings, some were suspended for various lengths of time, and a few others resigned. Those that are still there are being retrained â€" they have been moved off the ward are observed weekly by a nurse supervisor in their new duties.When a doctor or nurse is negligent, the negligence becomes malpractice. Malpractice cases are punishable under criminal or civil statutes, depending on the case. In the preceding case, if a nurse had been involved she could have been subject to a malpractice action, because a nurse reasonably should have known that a patient needs food and water regularly. While it may not be within the scope of the nurse’s duties to feed the patient, she could have delegated the responsibility to someone else.Medical negligence is common for many different reasons. The most common reason for medical or clinical negligence is that medical professionals are overloaded. They have a lot of patients to treat and not enough hours in the day to treat them all. As a result, medical professionals don’t always provide proper care. This results in harm to the patient, who then would have a case against the hospital or healthcare provider for negligence or malpractice. --If you think your injuries are the result of medical negligence, consult a compensation lawyer such as They can then decide the best course of action for you to take to be compensated for your injuries.Source:
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