Doctor’s offices and hospitals are known for being busy and extremely hectic. Oftentimes, the staff is overworked because of shortages and nurses and doctors are constantly pulled in many different directions. As a result, the medical staff isn’t always able to give the best care possible, and medical malpractice occurs. In fact, medical malpractice is on the rise, and your chances of being a victim are quite high, particularly when it comes to an occurrence called “failure to monitor.”
Failure to Monitor: The Result of Carelessness
The term “failure to monitor” is as simple as it sounds: it happens when a doctor, nurse, or medical staff member fails to monitor, or watch over, a patient in his or her care. This can happen for a number of reasons, including being too busy, inaccurately assuming someone else already performed a task, and falsely thinking the patient was fine and didn’t need the care. None of these reasons, however, is excusable and as you may imagine, the results can be catastrophic.
Failure to monitor can occur in both hospital and doctor office settings. Some examples of this common form of medical malpractice in hospitals include:
- Failing to monitor a patient during surgery. The medical staff that is involved in a surgery must watch the patient carefully to ensure that he is receiving enough oxygen to his brain, that his heart is beating at a proper pace, and that his blood pressure is stable. The staff, especially the anesthesiologist, must also ensure that the correct amount of anesthesia is administered both before and during the surgery. When the staff fails to give the proper monitoring, life-threatening results can occur.
- Failure to monitor a patient’s recovery after surgery. Just because a patient is out of the operating room doesn’t mean that he is completely out of the woods. Many different complications can occur post-op and unless a skilled nurse or member of the medical staff is there to monitor his vital signs, and look for the symptoms of blood clots, infection, internal bleeding, and breathing or heart problems, the patient could suffer serious consequences.
- Failure to recognize the signs of trouble. You’ve probably heard of horror stories in which the family members of a patient attempt to tell the medical staff that something is wrong with their loved one, but the doctors and nurses fail to do anything about it. Such cases happen far too often in hospitals, and lack of experience or just plain negligence are often to blame.
- Failure to carry out the doctor’s orders. A nurse or other member of the medical staff could be held negligent for failure to monitor by not carrying out the doctor’s orders. This could include not giving the appropriate type or amount of medication and not administering the proper treatment.
Unfortunately, the same type of medical malpractice can occur in doctors’ offices, as well. Oftentimes, they can be just as dangerous. Some examples of failure to monitor in an office setting include:
- Failing to review the patient’s chart or medical history. Not taking the time to fully evaluate a patient’s medical history or condition, especially regarding allergies to medication, can cause dangerous results to occur. Additionally, not taking past failed treatments and current medical problems into consideration when prescribing treatment can also cause trouble for the patient. Not ensuring that the proper tests and medication were given could also fall under the “failure to monitor” category.
- Failure to follow up or review medical tests. A doctor who orders tests for a patient, but never follows through with the results and subsequently fails to prescribe the appropriate course of action, could be held negligent if the patient’s health declines.
- Failure to document the patient’s condition. A nurse or doctor who doesn’t record the patient’s current condition in the medical chart could prevent administering medication and treatment that could cause the patient to improve.
Tavss Fletcher May be Able to Help With Your Failure to Monitor Case
If you or a loved one suffered needlessly because of a doctor or nurse’s negligence and failure to monitor, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. Schedule an appointment with our legal team today by calling 877.960.3441 and learn how we may be able to help.