In late 2021, the surgeons at HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital, which is a 290-bed acute care facility located in Hudson, Florida, met to raise concerns about patient safety. According to these medical professionals, there were widespread problems at the hospital, including the use of unsanitary surgical instruments, inadequate monitoring, an understaffed emergency department, anesthesiology mistakes, and other instances of medical malpractice. These kinds of errors, general lack of oversight, and carelessness have led to a significant increase in sentinel events, or patient safety incidents that result in harm or death, at the hospital. In January of 2022 alone, for instance, there were allegedly 18 “near misses” among patients who were about to go into surgery. Fortunately, the victims of this negligence do have legal recourse and can seek monetary compensation for their injury-related losses.
What is a Hospital’s Standard of Care?
Hospitals are required to comply with strict standards when it comes to patient safety and quality of care. Basically, a medical professional’s actions must align with those of a reasonably competent provider, with the same level of training, and in the same or similar circumstances. A failure to fulfill these duties is known as a breach of the standard of care. Obtaining medical care is rarely risk-free, which is why patients are required to sign consent forms before they can be treated. These forms absolve hospitals of legal liability if something goes wrong during a procedure. However, these consent forms don’t protect hospitals that are negligent or that fail to provide the proper level of care to their patients.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
In fulfilling the proper standard of care, a hospital must take certain steps, including:
- Providing patients with a clean, sanitary space;
- Using sterilized equipment;
- Following specific guidelines when preparing a patient for surgery;
- Hiring qualified and licensed healthcare providers;
- Prescribing the proper medications at the correct dosages;
- Ensuring a proper nurse-patient ratio; and
- Keeping its patient’s records confidential.
Hospitals that fail to enforce these rules put patients at risk of serious injury. For instance, a failure to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels during surgery could lead to permanent brain damage, while failing to keep surgical tools sanitary could lead to the spread of infection. Proving that a physician or other healthcare provider was negligent can be complicated, requiring the assistance of medical experts who can testify as to the proper standard of care in a particular case. In other situations, however, negligence is clear, even to a layman. These are often referred to as “never events”, as they should never occur if a hospital is using the proper standard of care. Operating on the wrong body part, for instance, or leaving a surgical tool inside of a patient qualifies as never events. This does not, however, mean that the degree of a hospital’s negligence must rise to this level for a claimant to qualify for compensation.
Recovering Medical Malpractice Damages
The patients at HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital who were injured as a result of the facility’s mismanagement, negligence, and violation of safety and health standards could be entitled to damages if they can establish that:
- The hospital owed a duty of care to its patients;
- The hospital breached that duty of care; and
- They were injured as a result of the hospital’s breach.
Injured patients who can satisfy this burden could recover compensation for their losses, including reimbursement for:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages and benefits;
- Permanent disability;
- Emotional distress; and
- Pain and suffering.
In the event that a patient passes away because of a hospital’s negligence, his or her surviving family members could also file a legal claim, known as a wrongful death lawsuit, on the victim’s behalf.
Call Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein Today for Legal Help
We place a lot of faith in hospitals and the healthcare providers they employ to provide us with adequate care when we are most in need of it. While many facilities amply repay this confidence, an alarming number do not. If you were diagnosed or treated for a medical condition at a hospital in Florida and your care was mismanaged, resulting in an injury, we can help you assert your legal rights. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim, call the compassionate and experienced Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein. We answer messages 24 hours a day, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team by calling 305-371-2692 or by sending us an online message today.