When a doctor or other medical practitioner commits an error that results in a worsened condition, victims are entitled to seek compensation. However, some states, such as California, take a medical mistake even more seriously and penalize hospitals for certain cases involving negligence. Taking such action is one way to help increase patient safety.
In 2012, a woman delivered her child via Cesarean section at an Orange County hospital. Her blood pressure began dropping as her heart rate increased shortly after the birth. After a shift change, the new nurse released the woman to another unit without reviewing her vital signs record and blood work, which goes against the hospital’s policy. Had she done so, she may have noticed that the signs pointed toward the mother having excessive bleeding. The woman ended up having a heart attack and a seizure and later passed away.
Recently, the state Department of Health levied fines against a number of California hospitals, including the one involved in this incident. When an error on behalf of the staff is likely to result in serious injury or death, an institution may be fined. That money then goes toward helping prevent these tragic incidents.
While the fines will help future patients, there are many others who are undergoing improper care that results in further injury and, as in this case, death. These victims of medical malpractice are entitled to seek compensation for the wrongdoing. They should hire an attorney immediately to help file a lawsuit seeking damages for medical expenses and other associated costs.
Source: OC Register, “3 O.C. hospitals fined by state in 3 patient deaths,” Courtney Perkes, Jan. 31, 2014