When May A Hospital Be Held Negligent For Medical Malpractice?

When May A Hospital Be Held Negligent For Medical Malpractice?

Many times, when people are injured after visiting a hospital for treatment, they focus on the actions of a specific care giver – such as a doctor or nurse – and consider whether that caregiver was negligent. However, in certain situations it may be the hospital itself that provided the negligent care. Called "corporate negligence" this doctrine may apply where a hospital fails to uphold the proper standard of care and ensure a patient's safety while being hospitalized.

For example, corporate or hospital negligence may occur when the hospital fails to maintain safe and adequate facilities and equipment, or when the hospital hires – and keeps on staff – physicians who are not competent. Hospitals may also be negligent when the fail to properly oversee the actions of doctors, nurses and other health care workers, or where they either adopt policies that endanger patients, or if they fail to enforce procedures and policies designed to ensure quality care for patients.

It is often the broader environment that creates a dangerous situation where harm can occur.

This may be the situation where a patient acquires an infection after visiting a hospital because of its failure to maintain a sanitary environment. For example, an infection such as STAPH or MRSA is more likely to occur where there are several lapses in sterilization protocol by doctors and nurses – showing a broader pattern and practice. Many different types of hospital acquired infections exist, and are one of the leading causes of patient deaths in the United States. Contamination leading to infection can include anything from from improper handling of instruments to failing to sterilize hands or clothing, or failing to keep floors and surfaces clean. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.7 million patients will get an infection during a hospital stay this year in the United States, leading to 99,000 deaths. Often, these types of infections may be a result of hospital negligence.

For more information or if you believe that you may have been harmed as the result of hospital negligence, please contact the experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, PC for an immediate consultation.


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