Surgery, by nature, is a risk. This is why some procedures are done only as a last resort if other treatments do not work out. In addition, there is the possibility of human error and negligence, which makes it that much riskier. Despite years of prevention efforts, there are still times when a surgeon operates on the wrong area of the body or, in extreme cases, even leaves surgical tools in his patient’s body. These cases are exactly why there is a need for victims to seek a skilled NYC medical malpractice attorney who can help them claim just compensation.
Today, hospitals are gathering data on surgical errors for the purpose of learning the best practices to better prepare them before surgery. They are also educating surgeons on the use of potentially dangerous equipment as well as urging them to pay more attention and be more alert in the operating room. All of these efforts are geared towards increased safety in the operating room. According to a 2012 study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, there are an estimated “4,082 malpractice claims each year for “never events”—the types of shocking mistakes that should never occur, like operating on the wrong body part.” Hospitals are seeking to decrease those numbers.
The chaotic nature of emergency rooms means that errors are very much a possibility. When medical staff are negligent in their responsibilities and injure their patients, the latter may file an emergency room medical malpractice lawsuit. When it comes to medical malpractice during emergency medical care, there are special rules that apply. Usually, whether or not the patient gets compensation would depend on who acted negligently. Most states would have statutes that protect the “first responders” to medical emergencies, or those who were the first to respond and give medical care to the patient. The responders, however, are not completely exempted; if they do something truly negligent, they can also be liable for malpractice.
The protections for first responders, however, do not apply to emergency room personnel. Doctors, nurses, and other personnel involved in the operation are bound to the standard medical malpractice rules, as well as the legal procedures involved. This goes for the patients as well.
Even though it may seem unbelievable that emergency room medical malpractice lawsuits even exist in the first place, the truth is that emergency room errors are common. Victims of emergency room medical malpractice should seek experienced NYC medical malpractice lawyers such as those from the Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein to help them in their case and get them the compensation they deserve.
(How to Make Surgery Safer, The Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2015)