When placing a loved one in a nursing home, Oregonians are literally placing their loved one's health and lives in the hands of the facility. Unfortunately, the health and mental state of nursing home residents often makes them extremely vulnerable to negligence or acts of medical malpractice. Even the smallest mistake can have catastrophic consequences. All too often, these mistakes can result in the wrongful death of a nursing home resident.
Readers of our Eugene medical malpractice blog may be aware that earlier this year, a bill was signed into law by Governor John Kitzhaber to create a voluntary medical liability reform program. The aim of the program is to give healthcare providers and patients a confidential conversation when events that could lead to a medical malpractice claim occur. The presence of a mediator can be requested as the parties attempt to reach a resolution of the matter.
Oregon's hospitals are supposed to be a place of healing. But what if a hospital puts its bottom-line over its patients? In that case, hospital negligence is likely to occur.
There are few events in life that are as joyous and spectacular as the birth of a child. For Oregon parents, their child's birthday is supposed to be a wonderful day of meeting and getting to know their newborn. However, as many parents know, the delivery process can be hectic, complicated and a little bit scary. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are supposed to be there to ensure that babies are born safely and that the parents know what to expect. However, sometimes hospital staff fall short of expectations -- emergencies occur, mistakes happen and, unfortunately, babies get hurt.
Although Oregon doctors swear to do no harm, they still make mistakes which lead to the untimely death of patients. When this happens, victims' families are left to deal with the loss of a loved one in addition to medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses and other unexpected damages. If the doctor acted negligently in treating the patient, that patient's family may be able to file a wrongful death suit to cover these expenses and more.
Oregon patients put all their trust into a hospital the minute they walk into its doors. Most people have very limited medical knowledge and rely on the hospital to provide the absolute best care available. Unfortunately, hospitals often fail to live up to these expectations -- errors are made, and people get hurt. In fact, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services claims that in 2010 up to one in seven Medicare patients were subject to some sort of medical error during a hospital stay including infections and being given incorrect medications.
When people are sick or hurt, they go to the doctor and expect that the doctor can accurately diagnose and treat their aliment. Most of the time, this is exactly what happens. However, there are instances where a negligent physician will fail to diagnose a patient correctly. When a failure to diagnose occurs, it can result in a delayed treatment, a worsened condition and even death.
When people go to the doctor or to the hospital, they expect to receive the best care available. Under Oregon law, people should be able to expect that doctors, nurses and all hospital staff will stand-up to a reasonable standard of care. If this standard is met then there should be no hospital staff negligence.