Do you, like everybody else in Louisiana, rely on your doctor to provide quality care to improve rather than compromise your health? You might not have realized that considerable harm can come from unsafe hospital environments — until it happened to you. It is difficult to understand how some mistakes or adverse events in medical facilities can happen. Medical errors and misdiagnosis kill tens of thousands of Americans each year, and many more suffer life-changing consequences of medical negligence.

One would think that preventing the development of infections, checking and re-checking drugs before administering them to patients, and ensuring the removal of the right body parts would be par for the course. It should be instilled in medical workers just like never running while holding sharp objects and looking both ways before crossing a street.

Serious reportable events

Errors involving devices, surgery, care and drugs as well as criminal events and environmental errors were once called “never events” because they should never occur. The name changed to “serious reportable events” later, and they could happen in surgical centers, doctors’ rooms, hospitals, pathology laboratories, long-term care facilities and other health care settings.

Did you suffer any of the following events?

Many health care providers and doctors spend less time with each patient to enable them to see more patients, which could leave them exhausted. With fatigue could come the following errors:

  • Drug errors: Possible causes of drug-related errors include confusion between many similarly named drugs, incorrect handwriting interpretation and translation mistakes at the pharmacy. Errors in administering drugs could include incorrect dosages, incorrect times and wrong routes of administration.
  • Hospital-acquired infections: Older patients and others with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to develop infections such as Clostridium difficile or MRSA. At the highest risk are those with injury or surgery-related open wounds and patients requiring catheters for drug delivery or drainage.
  • Surgical errors: Wrong site or wrong patient surgeries typically follow administrative errors and misidentification. When surgical procedures include cauterizing or other heat sources, burn wounds could result.

These are only some of the adverse events that could threaten your safety while you are a patient in a medical facility. It is also important to note that unsatisfactory results of a surgical or medical procedure do not necessarily indicate medical negligence.

Do you have a valid claim?

Medical malpractice is a complicated field of the law, and proving negligence on the part of a medical facility is no easy task. Fortunately, this is not a battle you have to fight on your own. An experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation attorney can answer questions, assess the circumstances and determine whether you have a viable claim. If grounds exist for a lawsuit, the lawyer will provide the necessary support and guidance in your pursuit of a monetary judgment to cover financial and emotional damages.