Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2013 - Patients harmed by preventable medical errors have the right to seek compensation for those mistakes.
“When someone goes to hospital, they go with the expectation they will be helped and healed. When something goes wrong, such as a preventable medical error, the patient is left devastated and faces a life they no longer recognize,” said Christopher Mellino, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer.
Consider the case of a woman admitted to a New York hospital for brain surgery. Surgeons operated on the wrong side of her brain. The 36-year-old woman ended up contracting several infections while there and died. “Incidents like this one create a sense of betrayal and disbelief for family members who expected their loved one to come home to heal,” Mellino added. An autopsy was conducted in this case. It revealed the woman also had a spinal infection deemed treatable. The hospital was subsequently cited by the state health department for nursing errors. The woman need not have died, but for the egregious medical mistakes made in treating her.
In many instances, the primary cause of medical errors can be tracked back to poor communications among hospital staff. This is evident when routines are changed or not adhered to in a timely manner. There are numerous operating rooms in use, filled with various staff, all coming and going, shift changes in the midst of operations and doctors forgetting to perform pre-surgery checklists. “Protocols relating to patient safety are in place for a reason,” stated Mellino. If a health care professional does not follow them to the letter, there is a significant chance of making a medical error.
Medical malpractice also affects health care workers. They often face what is referred to as the “second victim phenomenon,” suffering from flashbacks of the event they were involved in, second-guessing what they could have done instead and often losing confidence in their abilities to care for patients. “In reality, medical errors do have more victims than just the patient. That being said, they must still be held accountable for their errors,” Mellino observed. Many things left undone, or not followed for the patient's welfare, often amounts to neglect, which has the potential to lead to malpractice.
Mellino Robenalt LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901