Have you or a loved one have been a victim of a preventable hospital error?
Hospital errors are a type of medical malpractice case, in which a hospital or a healthcare provider working for a hospital has made a preventable medical error causing a patient an avoidable injury. Preventable medical mistakes in hospitals are so common that there is even a name for this phenomenon. They are known as “hospital acquired conditions” (HAC’s).
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a preventable hospital error, please contact us right away for a free consultation with an experienced Dallas hospital errors lawyer.
What is a Hospital-Acquired Condition?
"Hospital acquired conditions” (HAC) are something you got as a result of being in the hospital. A hospital-acquired condition (HAC) is an undesirable situation or condition that affects a patient and that arose during a stay in a hospital or medical facility.
An HAC is distinguishable from a “complication.” Many patients develop “complications” because of the condition that landed them in the hospital to begin with. Conversely, a HAC is something that is outside of the normal range of complications that could happen with the original condition. An HAC is a new and distinct injury which was caused BY the hospital and which the patient did not come by naturally.
A simple example would be a patient who went in for gallbladder surgery, but was dropped on the floor while being transferred from bed to a stretcher and suffered a broken hip. The broken hip was not a known complication of the gall bladder surgery, but instead was a condition caused by a new and independent act of negligence on the part of the hospital. Hence, the term “hospital acquired condition.”
In the past, hospitals could actually profit from their own mistakes by charging patients, their insurance companies or the government to treat the injuries they caused by their own carelessness. Using our prior example, the hospital who caused the gallbladder patient to suffer a broken hip would actually make more money because of their carelessness because they could now charge more money to treat the new condition of broken hip.
The problem grew to such proportions that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) refused to continue to reimburse hospitals for conditions that they caused. CMS now deems certain “HAC’s” to be completely preventable and refuses to pay hospitals to treat the injuries they cause patients which were completely preventable.
What are the Most Common Types of Hospital Errors?
Some of the most common types of preventable hospital errors (hospital acquired conditions) include:
- Medication Errors
- Wrong Side Surgery
- Hospital Falls
- IV Errors
- Air Embolisms
- Central Line Infections
- Retained Objects
- Surgical Fires
A link to the complete list of conditions the government has deemed to be “hospital acquired conditions” HAC”s can be found here: 2018 Hospital Acquired Conditions List
Hiring a Dallas Hospital Errors Lawyer
It is impossible to describe all the different kinds of hospital errors that can occur. There may be some patient injuries which were caused by hospital negligence, but they do not fall squarely within the government’s list, so if you believe you may have been a victim of a hospital error, please call us for a free consultation. It is never too early to get an attorney’s advice-- but it can be too late, so we encourage contacting a lawyer as soon as possible. In many cases, the hospital already has a team of lawyers working full time to manage risk and limit liability, so it is important to have an advocate on your side too.
Do not be fooled. The hospital is well aware of what constitutes a hospital acquired condition and they have systems in place to try and manage their legal exposure. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a preventable hospital error, it is highly likely that you will be or have been contacted by a hospital risk manager or someone with a confusing title, such as “patient safety advocate.”
In some instances, it may be perfectly fine for you to resolve the issue directly with the hospital. If there was a “near miss” or a very slight injury, then there is likely no need for you to seek legal counsel. However, if the injury is severe, life threatening, disabling or fatal, you would be well advised to contact an experienced hospital malpractice lawyer.
In these cases, the hospital most certainly has its lawyers already on board and you should too. This does not mean that a resolution cannot be worked out, as under the right circumstances a pre-suit settlement may be pursued. However, it is very unwise to try and go it alone without legal counsel.
Over the 30 plus years of my career helping patients and their families, I have found that many people are so very kind and forgiving. They can easily be talked into “letting it go.” There is no need to feel bad or that you are being unkind, but in serious injury cases or wrongful death cases, more is needed than an apology.
What You Can Expect From Van Wey Law
By calling Van Wey Law you can expect to be greeted by a member of our team who will listen to your story with a compassionate ear. We understand that this is usually an incredibly difficult time in your life and we will do everything we can to take the stress and burden off of you in your time of need.