Open heart surgery is a time when a patient’s health is particularly vulnerable. Operating room staff has to pay extra attention to maintaining the patient’s vital signs while procedures are taking place. Part of this process involves controlling the patient’s body temperature throughout the operation. This is accomplished by the use of heater-cooler devices. This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert stating that a popular model of heater-cooler device may have been contaminated by bacteria during the manufacturing process.
Category: Medical Malpractice
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the diagnosis and treatment of patient. “Standard of care” is a legal term that is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. If a health care provider does not comply with the standard of care, that is medical negligence or medical malpractice.
Doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff are highly trained professionals we trust with our health and even our lives. But, this doesn’t mean mistakes are not sometimes made. If you suspect that you have suffered from an error by a medical professional, here are some things you should know:
Nothing is guaranteed in medicine. Even medical treatments and surgical procedures with high success rates carry a certain percentage of risk. However, according to the National Institute of Medicine, patient deaths caused by preventable medical errors may actually exceed the number of deaths associated with auto accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS combined. Preventable medical errors may occur during surgical procedures, which can cause considerable injury and permanent damage to a patient. But in the event of injury or death, how can injured patients or surviving family members distinguish the inherent risks of surgery from a preventable medical error?