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Medical Errors during COVID-19 Treatment

A doctor’s letter to the New York Times contains a startling admission: hospitals have made many errors while treating patients during the recent coronavirus pandemic. And some of the errors can cause serious injury or possibly result in death. Because doctors rarely admit that they make mistakes, this is a significant event.

If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, you should analyze whether you received adequate treatment. If you or a loved one with the virus suffered a stroke, heart attack, or other unexpected medical event while receiving treatment, then medical malpractice could be to blame. Please contact one of our lawyers in Miami for more information.

Medication Errors

Some patients were given the wrong medications, which resulted in injury. The doctor relayed a story of a patient whose blood pressure was spiking and whose heart was racing, though medical staff didn’t know why.  Eventually, the doctor realized that the patient had been given a vasopressor instead of heparin, a blood thinner. This error had the effect of rapidly increasing the patient’s blood pressure. Fortunately, the doctor recognized the error before the patient suffered a stroke or heart attack.

COVID-19 patients were given many medications to fight the disease, including antibiotics, paralytics, sedatives, blood thinners, and medication to regulate blood pressure. If the doctor made any error, then tragedy could strike.

Inexperienced Doctors & Nurses

With fears that the pandemic would overwhelm hospitals, many issued calls for “all hands on deck.” Some nurses, who had worked in administration for decades, started making rounds again. Young medical students graduated early to better staff the hospitals, and some experienced doctors came out of retirement.

In this environment, we should not be surprised that more errors occurred. As the New York Times article stated, many staff members were “working well out of their comfort zones” and trying to figure out how to help patients or how to run equipment, like ventilators, that they did not have recent experience with. And training, when offered, often happened on the fly, without meaningful opportunities to review errors to improve performance.

This pandemic was unprecedented for modern times, and front-line health workers are heroes. Nevertheless, some of them might also have made mistakes that were easily avoidable. Injured victims and their families should be made whole when medical malpractice causes them harm.

If you would like to talk about the treatment you received, contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP today. Our consultations are free, and you can schedule one if you call us at 305-371-2692.