Many patients suffer malpractice injuries as the result of equipment malfunction in a hospital setting. The advanced technology used for patient care today is a godsend when it works correctly. When it doesn’t, patients are at risk of injury or even death. Defects in medical equipment are responsible for thousands of catastrophic injuries and deaths each year across the country. When this type of injury or death occurs, a medical malpractice lawsuit can ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable.
Hospital Equipment Maintenance
Every piece of technological equipment in a hospital, from the mechanical beds to the MRI and anesthesia machines, can fail if it is not properly used and maintained. Regular operational checks are essential, as a defective device could harm or kill a patient. For example, a faulty IV pump could deliver an overdose of medication. A malfunctioning heart monitor could miss a potentially life-threatening heart arrhythmia. Proper equipment maintenance also includes performing routine safety inspections and changing batteries as needed. When this maintenance is not adequately performed, serious malpractice injuries can result.
Monitoring to Avoid Equipment-Related Injury
Medical professionals rely on hospital equipment to diagnose and treat many health conditions, but they are sometimes overly dependent on this technology. Nurses and other staff may get busy and fail to physically check patients, choosing instead to rely on the data produced by mechanical devices. Machinery in the hospital can be effectively employed to assess a patient’s condition, but if the technology is used alone, without the support of visual and physical checks of the patient, the likelihood of error increases. Even with properly functioning equipment, serious harm can occur if the medical staff fails to adequately monitor the patient themselves.
Liability for Injuries Due to Hospital Equipment
Many types of hospital personnel are responsible for patient care and medical device usage. Doctors, nurses or other trained professionals may be responsible for injuries related to improper equipment usage or inadequate maintenance. The hospital may be liable for patient injuries if it can be proven that machinery repair or replacement was delayed for any reason. If the equipment has a defect, the manufacturer may also be held responsible for any injuries that resulted from its use. Any or all of these parties may be named — and found liable — in a malpractice lawsuit.
Hospitals and medical professionals have a responsibility to provide safe care to patients in all cases, and this includes the proper usage and maintenance of technological and mechanical equipment. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury of this nature, seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. In northern Utah, contact Rasmussen and Miner to discuss any potential malpractice injuries.