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Small VA hospitals raise concern over hospital staff negligence

For the last several months, the health care scandal surrounding Veterans’ Administration hospitals has captured news headlines. Everything from delayed care to misreported statistics, to deaths has been reported as shortcomings of an overburdened system. But another aspect of the crisis has apparently been underreported.

While much of the focus has been on larger facilities, those are actually the exception in the military health care system. The typical hospital is a small facility, some of which serve a few as 10 patients a day. One of these smaller hospitals is located in South Carolina. That emergency care at that facility has already been eliminated, although inpatient care is still offered.

When mandatory medical malpractice mediation fails, what next?

Recently we wrote about the mandatory mediation requirement that South Carolina law places on a person who seeks redress for a claimed act of medical malpractice. The interest of the state in requiring mediation before a lawsuit may be filed is an expression of the concept of judicial economy, which seeks to minimize litigation in the courts when an alternative way to resolve the dispute may work.

But mediation does not always work. Sometimes, the positions of the two sides in a medical malpractice or hospital negligence claim are too far apart for a mediator to reach a middle ground for settlement. If mediation fails, the question becomes what to do after that?

Medication error is one type of medical malpractice

Most often when people hear or read about medical malpractice incidents, they have happened in the setting of a doctor’s office or a hospital. This is understandable, as the kinds of medical mistakes that can take place at these locations, such as a misdiagnosis or a surgical error, tend to make the news more often than other forms of medical malpractice.

It is understandable, therefore, that if you have been to a hospital for a medical procedure and have made it home without experiencing any unexpected problems you may believe that you are out of the danger zone. Such a belief may, however, be premature. And the consequences for not being aware of the potential to be harmed by medical negligence outside of a healthcare facility can be very serious.

How can hospital negligence contribute to medical malpractice?

In South Carolina as well as elsewhere in the United States, if a hospital patient is injured as a result of a negligent action or failure to act on the part of a doctor then a claim for medical malpractice may ensue.

In the legal sense, one potential factor of medical malpractice can include the concept of hospital negligence. The two legal theories are distinct from each other, but they are frequently found together in a plaintiff's medical malpractice complaint. 

The urgent issue of medical malpractice due to misdiagnosis

When we read news stories about medical mistakes, surgical errors or negligent behavior on the part of a healthcare provider, it is often in the context of a very specific incident. One person may have been the victim of a surgical error or a doctor may have routinely neglected to conduct adequate examinations.

Medical malpractice claims like these are often reported in the media but, since most of these are focused on a single case, the bigger picture may be missed. The recent release of statistics on the percentage of misdiagnosis cases is an example of how easy it can be to miss widespread issues when the focus is put on individual scenarios.

Mediation first step in South Carolina medical malpractice claims

Medical malpractice claims are based in the concept of negligence, and under many circumstances lawsuits that allege negligence are not based on statutory law passed by the legislature.

In South Carolina, however, before one may file a claim for hospital negligence, surgical error, misdiagnosis or delayed treatment to court, state law requires that another step first be taken: mediation.

What goes into preparing a medical malpractice claim?

Medical malpractice is a term that is frequently heard in news stories and conversations. You may be wondering, "What exactly is medical malpractice?" and perhaps more importantly, "If I believe that I have been a victim of medical malpractice, what should I do about it?"

Medical malpractice is a variation of the civil law tort of negligence. Generally speaking, someone is negligent when he or she owes you a duty of care and in failing to observe that duty causes you harm. 

New assisted-living facility in SC to help aging patients

When an individual is sick or elderly, he or she will likely depend on medications to help moderate physical or mental conditions. In this regard, prescribing the wrong medication could mean serious injury or possibly death for the patient.

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been the victim of a medication error by a physician or pharmacist, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to seek the advice and guidance of a legal professional who can explain your options and who may be able to help you to pursue your civil legal options.

Sponge left after surgery leads to medical malpractice lawsuit

Many times when a patient undergoes surgery, speculation may arise about the nature of whatever it is that the surgeon may have removed, be it an appendix, a gall bladder, or a foreign object. Occasionally, however, the issue involves the opposite: What was it that the surgeon left behind?

A recent example of this form of potential surgical error has gone to trial, with the plaintiff alleging that a surgical sponge that was left behind in his wife ultimately caused her death. He is suing based on claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Medication errors can be a source of medical malpractice

Medical malpractice often involves surgical errors or a misdiagnosis of an illness. But there is another area of medicine that is also a common source of unintended and negative consequences, which South Carolina residents should be aware of. It happens in the place where the medicine itself is distributed: the pharmacy.

Human errors in the healthcare field can happen anywhere. Physicians and surgeons are under intense pressure to make the correct diagnosis in a timely manner, and to provide the right treatment. 

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