Liability For Actions Of Other Employees
While Portland has some top-notch hospitals and medical centers, even the most well-respected facilities can have employees who make mistakes and cause injuries to patients. Doctors are not commonly employees of the hospitals but are instead independent contractors, so doctors often face a separate malpractice lawsuit. On the other hand, individuals including technicians, nurses, and other support staff are generally directly employed by the hospital and, therefore, the hospital can be held liable for their negligent mistakes and actions.
Some examples of malpractice by hospital employees can include:
- Medication errors — This can include dispensing the wrong medication to the wrong patient, giving the wrong dosage, or failing to administer necessary medication;
- Failing to monitor patients — For example, if a woman is in labor and a nurse fails to properly monitor the mother and child’s heart rate, oxygen levels, or other vital signs, serious injury can occur;
- Wrongful discharge — This can happen when a nurse or staff member discharges the wrong patient or does not provide important instructions upon discharge;
- Not providing necessary assistance — If a staff member allows an elderly or injured patient to use the restroom on their own or walk around without help and they fall down, the hospital may be liable for their injuries;
- Not properly washing hands — Failing to wash hands is a leading cause of nosocomial infections (which are infections contracted in a hospital) and these infections can cause serious complications for already ill or injured patients.
- Assaults — If a hospital staff member intentionally physically or sexually assaults a patient, the hospital can be held responsible for the actions of the assailant and potentially for negligent hiring if the staff member had a history of violent or criminal behavior.
The above are only some of the many ways in which a hospital employee can act and cause injury. Hospitals are expected to hire and retain competent, qualified, and well-trained staff and the staff are then expected to provide a certain standard of care for patients. If either of these fail to happen, injured patients have the right to recover.
Liability For Premises And Equipment-Related Injuries
In addition to hiring qualified staff members, hospitals are also expected to keep the premises safe and healthy for patients, as well as to use reliable, safe, and well-maintained medical equipment. Hospitals can often have liquid spills and other potentially dangerous hazards that can occur. The hospital is responsible for cleaning up and removing possible hazards as soon as possible and providing warning of wet floors or other dangerous conditions so that patients and their families do not slip and fall. Additionally, whether it is a basic IV drip or a large, expensive surgical robot, equipment should be inspected, maintained, and repaired on a regular basis to ensure it is safe for use on patients. All equipment should be properly packaged and sterilized, as well. If a hospital or medical center fails to keep the premises safe or fails to use proper medical equipment, patients can file malpractice claims to recover for their injuries.
Discuss Your Case With An Experienced Portland Hospital Malpractice Attorney
When you go to the hospital, you should have the expectation that you will receive the care you require in a safe and healthy environment and should not expect to sustain further unnecessary injuries. Going up against a large hospital in a legal case can be challenging and you should always have the help of a hospital malpractice attorney who has the resources and skill to protect your rights as a patient. At the Johnston Law Firm in Portland, we have helped many patients pursue malpractice claims against hospitals or doctors. If you believe you were medically mistreated, please do not hesitate to call (503) 546-3167 for a free consultation as soon as possible.
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