Medical malpractice cases are commonly based on a physician’s failure to use reasonable care when diagnosing or treating a patient. When you think of malpractice, it is common to consider events where surgical tools are left inside a patient’s body or events where a patient is left unattended for extended amounts of time. Of course, these are the incidents that grab headlines, but they are not the only instances of medical negligence that can harm a patient.
In fact, some medical malpractice cases may not even be based on human error.
This is because some malpractice cases can be based on faulty medical equipment. For instance, surgical errors can be based on malfunctions that surgeons rely on to give them proper information (such as equipment that monitors a patient’s vital signs) while performing delicate procedures.
While this may seem like a products liability lawsuit, consider how a patient’s safety and health could be compromised if medical equipment does not function properly. Also, a part of the notion of using reasonable care involves making sure that all equipment is in working order before performing a procedure. Indeed, there are established protocols for prepping before a surgery (for example), and if a medical staff deviates from them, and a patient is sickened or injured, the staff could be held liable.
So even though malfunctioning equipment could be the impetus for the harm a patient may suffer, there must be adequate communication about these potential problems followed by proper responses to prevent patient injuries.