April 6th, 2013

Medical Malpractice Explained – Hidden Negligence

Medical Malpractice Claims in Pennsylvania – Hidden Negligence

The hospital industry is not what it used to be. Many hospitals are corporate institutions with a single purpose – profits. The last 5 years have seen a steady increase in the average salary of a hospital CEO, which is now over $300,000 per year. Net hospital revenues generally range from $35 million to $199 million dollars per year.

The focus on profits often leads to increased pressure to treat more and more patients. Doctors and nurses may be stretched too thin and when that happens, mistakes follow. This explains why a patient who has suffered negligence might not be fully aware of what occurred.

Patients who have suffered medical negligence are often left to wonder about the details of what actually happened. That’s because when negligence occurs, doctors and other medical professionals may not fully explain what occurred, or in some cases, may take active steps to hide the negligence.

The following are three common situations of medical negligence or malpractice where a patients may be misled or misinformed about what occurred.

1. Surgical material left behind.

Surgical material such as sponges, needles, pads, etc. may be left behind in a patient’s body. Although not as common as 15 or 20 years ago, this type of negligence does occur. Hospital surgical teams usually conduct pre and post surgery counts of all materials. In some surgeries, 100’s of materials are used. Miscounts can and do occur, especially after long surgeries. Read more about surgery errors and foreign objects left behind in patients.

2. Surgery mistakes.

Surgical errors occur every day in this country. Two common kinds of surgical errors include causing injury to other body parts or negligence in use of implants, such as surgical screws or plates. In some cases, the wrong body part may be operated on or wrong procedure may be performed. In some cases, a resident performing a surgery with the surgeon may make an error. In some cases, the surgeon may make an error.

3. Misdiagnosis leading to invasive treatment, severe injury or death.

Misdiagnosis is probably one of the most common types of hospital negligence that leads to severe consequences. For example, a misread CT scan can lead to misdiagnosis of an aneurysm, and the patient may then suffer a stroke and permanent damage. In addition, a misdiagnosed infection can lead to sepsis and death.

The reality is that hospitals today are for-profit institutions. Medical staff are often pressured to treat more and more patients. Errors and mistakes occur, and the medical malpractice laws of Pennsylvania may allow a patient to receive fair and just compensation.

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