There are many types of medical malpractice (preventable medical errors that cause serious injuries to patients) but they start with doctors, nurses and hospital personnel violating established patient safety rules - rules the medical community has established.
Here are 3 common patient safety rules we see being violated by hospitals in our malpractice cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
- Not following up on a test that was ordered. Every hospital has to have a system in place so that test results are reviewed by the physician who ordered them, or a specialist that needs to review them. A busy doctor can forget he ordered a test, or be called to an emergency, or have to leave the hospital. So its up to the hospital to make sure there is a system in place so the doctor or another doctor covering for him reviews the test results. We've had a case where a child was discharged before his MRI was read, and the results of the MRI were never communicated to his physician.
- Not consulting with the appropriate specialist. This one is difficult to understand - every hospital in the D.C. area has access to specialists in every discipline. Some doctors either don't understand the extent of the patient's problems or don't form a differential diagnosis that would lead them to bring in a consulting specialist.
- Relying on interns, residents and medical students. Some physicians simply re-copy the evaluations of others and don't independently assess the patient. This can be critical when an early provider makes a mistake, and that mistake gets repeated throughout the medical chart.
If you and yor family have to live with the consequences of a hospital not following established patient safety rules, there is something you can do. Take action and order one of our free guides, books or reports or call us at (202) 393 - 3320 with your specific questions or concerns.
We schedule a limited number of people to speak with every month to answer questions about medical malpractice. But don't wait - every year we have to turn down people with serious, legitimate cases because they waited too long to contact us.