Denver Hospital Error Attorneys
When you go to a hospital, it’s because of a serious illness, life-threatening emergency, or other critical issue that requires treatment. We rely on hospital workers to fix what’s wrong with us. We don’t expect them to harm us. But sometimes, they do. And the consequences of hospital errors are often catastrophic.
Few victims want to file medical malpractice lawsuits, but we're putting our trust and well-being in other people's hands at the hospital. When healthcare professionals make errors, they should be held accountable for any damage those errors caused. Remember - you're not powerless, and you can take reasonable action to get your life back.
Call our top Denver medical malpractice trial lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. We offer a free consultation to go over your case and review your medical records, and we will let you know if you have a viable claim for compensation against the hospital. Our number is toll-free (877) 433-3906, and we take cases from anywhere in the United States.
Although medical malpractice can take many forms, hospital errors tend to be a bit more specific due to the setting in which they occur. Some common mistakes include:
- Birth Injuries: These are injuries that occur to an infant during the birthing process. Such injuries – cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and brachial plexus injury, to name a few - can have lifelong consequences for the child and family.
- Misdiagnosis: Making a correct diagnosis is the first step in any form of medical treatment. Errors may include delayed diagnosis, diagnosing the wrong illness, and failing to order needed tests, all of which can delay or prevent proper treatment. Missed cancer diagnoses are common, and so are missed signs of heart failure – the two biggest killers in the United States. In New York, an emergency department sent a woman home with Motrin after she complained of chest pain – even though an X-ray taken at the visit showed a growth on her lungs. Two years later, she succumbed to lung cancer.
- Surgical Errors: Mistakes before, during, and after surgery are often very serious and may involve surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses. In one case we handled, our client – an elite athlete - suffered a broken leg while snowboarding and had surgery. After his surgery, he developed compartment syndrome – which was not attended to promptly by his care team. It worsened, and now he suffers chronic pain, disfigurement, and has a permanent disability that confines him to a wheelchair.
- Never Events: These are errors so egregious that they should never happen, which is where the name comes from. While supposedly rare, these errors are always happening, always avoidable, and often devastating for patients. Developing stage 3-4 bedsores, and falling while under inpatient care, are the two most common never events that we see at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C.
- Administrative Errors: Mistakes can also be made by non-medical staff, including people who register patients as they come in for care. These errors might not be as immediately damaging, but can have serious consequences unless corrected quickly. In one famous example, a medical center switched its old containers in the operating room to three unlabeled identical stainless steel basins, each holding a clear liquid. Because of this foolish decision, a patient was injected with cleaning fluid instead of contrast dye, and suffered a horrible death.
There are many other mistakes a hospital can make, such as improperly sterilizing equipment, which can then lead to surgical site infections and exposure to bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV and hepatitis. The worst part? Patients infected in this manner can then infect close family members and friends, completely unaware that the hospital’s error has changed their lives forever.
One can suffer many different problems from a hospital error. They include, but are not limited to:
- Delay in diagnosis and treatment
- Worsening of symptoms or illness
- Incorrect treatment
- Need for additional surgery
- Avoidable amputation
- Brain damage and related disabilities
- Sensory damage
When confronted with a claim of medical malpractice, hospitals like to say "accidents just happen." We at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. do not believe in "accidents." Every step of a medical procedure, every process in the hospital, every administrative oversight system, every patient record, and every employee contribute to correct patient care. When an error is made somewhere along the line and a patient is seriously harmed, it’s not an “accident.” Deliberate choices were made, even if that choice was to ignore a potential problem or not to double-check an order.
The question becomes, “Did the error rise to the level of professional malpractice?”
Professionals have a duty of care to patients to act in a reasonable way. Negligence in a medical malpractice situation involves behavior that another hospital, doctor, or nurse would not have engaged in. For example, a hospital that oversaw a heart and lung donation but did not ensure that the patient’s blood type matched the donor’s, causing the patient’s body to reject the transplants and shut down, killing her. (Yes, this really happened.)
Hospitals and their employees are liable for these types of errors and their consequences, because they should not have happened in the first place.
Hospital errors can be devastating for patients and their families, and the last thing most people want to worry about afterward is navigating the complexities of the justice system.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. our job is to take as much burden as possible off your shoulders and deal with the hospitals and their big-shot attorneys for you. Call us at (877) 433-3906 and let's talk about how we can help you. If we take your case, you don’t owe us anything unless we get you the compensation that you both need and deserve.
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- Healthcare-associated Infections - CDC