There are many instances each day in which patients are provided with care by hospital staff that meets and even exceeds the standards expected of them. Unfortunately, there are also instances in which patients do not receive adequate care by hospital staff. This can occur because of simple human error or deeper systemic inadequacies. Though some patients who receive inadequate care will recover nonetheless; tragically, others will be catastrophically or fatally injured. If the inadequate care provided by hospital staff is such that it does not meet accepted professional standards, an injured patient or his or her family may have cause to pursue a claim for compensation.
Types of hospital negligence and the parties involved
- Hospital negligence is manifested in various ways and can include some of the following examples:
- Failure to communicate (or lack of communication) between hospital staff;
- Failure to follow procedures or protocols;
- Failure to follow-up on a patient;
- Failure to monitor a patient or fetus;
- Birth injuries or complications from failure to monitor during childbirth;
- Delay in diagnosis or treatment;
- Equipment failure;
- Improper handling or tissue or biopsy samples;
- Diagnostic testing errors;
- Medication and prescription errors; and
- Errors in the emergency room.
The above examples of hospital negligence can involve many parties including doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, laboratory technicians, radiologists, pharmacist, residents, interns, and administration staff.
Though doctors can certainly be a party to hospital negligence, it is a common misconception that hospitals in Canada are liable for the negligence of doctors. Many doctors in Canada are insured by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) which is an organization that provides legal defence and liability protection for physicians in Canada. The CMPA also provides compensation to patients and their families proven to have been harmed by a physician’s negligent care. When a patient is seriously injured by hospital negligence involving both hospital staff and a doctor or doctors, a claim may be brought against both the hospital and the physician(s).
It is a regrettable reality that many injuries to patients from hospital negligence could have been prevented. If you or a loved one has been injured by hospital negligence, please contact Wagners at 902 425 7330, toll-free at 1 800 465 8794 or via email at [email protected].