People in Oregon and around the country entrust their lives and well-being to the physicians and health care facilities they rely on for their medical treatment and care. Individuals admitted to a hospital for treatment of an injury or serious illness rarely expect to suffer harm because of medical malpractice or hospital negligence on the part of the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who care for them, but more than 400,000 American patients die each year from hospital-related mistakes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that approximately 75,000 people die each year from infections they develop while in a hospital. The failure of doctors, nurses or hospital staff members to properly wash their hands before treating or having contact with a patient could spread illness and infection from one patient to another.
Another area of concern is the number of falls that happen to hospital patients each year. It is estimated that one-third of the 1 million falls that happen in hospitals in the U.S. could be prevented by training hospital staff members to assess each patient’s risk level. Patients with a history of falling, whether caused by age, medications or physical impairment, should be monitored and protected while in the hospital. For example, a wet floor or objects that could cause a patient to trip and fall should be avoided in a patient’s room or in areas where the patient might walk.
People who have been harmed by these and other types of hospital negligence often see their conditions worsen, requiring additional expensive care and treatment. Those who have been in this position may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to determine how best to seek compensation for the losses that have been incurred.