Some hospital tasks are so easy that doctors and nurses can perform them mindlessly, which could spell trouble for Oregon's patients. Tossing single-use syringes after their initial use, for example, should be common sense in the medical profession and is a simple way to keep patients safe from infectious diseases. Yet, a man who was diagnosed with Hepatitis C has recently filed lawsuit against a hospital and nurse who failed to adhere to this simplistic safety measure and reused a single-use syringe.
The lawsuit claims the nurse reused a single-use saline needle, which is used to flush IV tubing before and after medicine has been administered to a patient through the tubing. Up to 236 patients have been notified that their health was compromised by the registered nurse, who no longer works at the hospital. Those individuals were at risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B.
Becoming infected with one of these diseases can be quite damaging to one's health, and it can even be deadly. Patients who unexpectedly and undeservedly contract a disease in a hospital can be overwhelmed with anger, depression and fear. These scenarios truly are not fair and, to make matters worse, victims often must also cope with the financial hardship that may accompany such a diagnosis. Medical expenses, sometimes including long-term care, can wreck an individual's finances at a time when life seemed to be going according to plan.
Hospital negligence like this should not be tolerated. One way to hold a negligent medical professional accountable for his or her damaging action or inaction is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her. These lawsuits may help victims recover the compensation they need to treat their injuries while at the same time financially punishing those who acted negligently. Hopefully a winning case will force a hospital and its employees to implement the changes necessary to keep all patients safe from a similar occurrence.
Source: PressConnects.com, "Guthrie faces lawsuit over tainted syringe at Corning Hospital, Hep C diagnosis," Ray Finger, April 28, 2014