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A Hospital Could Be Liable for Failing to Monitor Its Patients

People tend to think of medical malpractice as being some sort of action, like a botched surgery or prescribing the wrong medication. But doctors and hospitals are often responsible for the actions they don’t take. This comes up frequently with failure to monitor cases. Not keeping a close eye on patients could lead to serious injury or death, which is why Illinois medical malpractice law allows victims and their families to pursue legal action.

Medical malpractice is concerned primarily with a physician’s violation of the standard of care owed to patients. When you or a loved one are in the care of a medical professional, you’re vulnerable to serious and potentially life-threatening errors. This is why doctors, nurses, hospitals, and others in the field are held to such a high standard.

What constitutes a failure to monitor case?

From the moment you are admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility, there is a lot that could go wrong. Your physician is responsible for monitoring your condition during this time. Failure to monitor cases can arise in numerous different contexts, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Before, during, and after surgery. Pre-surgical procedures are in place to make sure the patient is ready to undergo an operation. During surgery, the physician has to monitor your vital signs like heart rate and breathing. Once the operation is complete, you should be monitored to make sure your signs stay in the normal range and that you suffer no complications. Neglecting the patient at any of these stages could prove fatal.
  • When anesthesia is administered. The utmost care needs to be practiced when anesthesia is involved. Administering too much could kill a patient, but too little could cause the patient to wake up or suffer pain during an operation. Your doctor should especially keep an eye on your vital signs and for any adverse reactions.
  • Mothers in labor. The delivering physician, along with others involved in the delivery, must care for both mother and baby during labor. That means monitoring the mother’s condition as well as fetal heartbeat.
  • During hospitalization. There are rigorous procedures involved when a patient is hospitalized, and among those are keeping an eye on the patient’s condition. Particularly serious accidents like those involving brain or spinal cord injury require near-constant supervision, but the patient must be monitored for other problems like bad reactions to medications.

There are different reasons your treating physician might fail to properly monitor you. Chief among them are:

  • Understaffed hospitals and care facilities
  • Keeping an eye on too many patients at once
  • Not understanding the signs to look for during monitoring
  • Lack of proper training
  • Miscommunication among doctors, nurses, and hospital staff

Not monitoring a patient could result in something relatively minor like an infection. In other cases, the results can be catastrophic. A patient could suffer complications like brain damage, internal organ damage, paralysis, or permanent disability. In the most tragic cases, the patient may die, but the family could be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

Contact Hale & Monico Today

No matter what sort of medical malpractice case you have, establishing liability isn’t easy. Hospitals and doctors are not required by law to be perfect. They are only held liable when the mistake is unreasonable, given their training and the circumstances of your care. Serious cases like these deserve serious legal representation, and that’s what you can count on from Hale & Monico. Give us a call today.