Hospital negligence: More than just doctor mistakes
In recent years Texas has built a reputation as an economically forward-thinking state, with industries such as technology and healthcare bringing valuable services to many. Healthcare in particular provides jobs to countless residents of Houston and area facilities often boast stellar reputations. Still, incidents of negligence still occur in Texas hospitals. What some patients may not realize is that hospital negligence may not always be the fault of doctors.
When someone is sick or injured and requires hospitalization, they may be evaluated and treated by a variety of professionals. These include physicians, physician's assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse's aides and nurse practitioners. Thus, a patient could potentially be a victim of nursing negligence despite having a doctor who followed all standards of patient care. Examples of nursing errors can include life-threatening mistakes, such as failure to treat infection or failure to notify doctors of a change in condition.
At times, if a non-physician errs in practice liability may be found with the supervising physician. At other times, the individual nurse may be legally responsible. In other situations it may be that individual's employer who is later held accountable in court. This may be the case in hospitals or nursing homes where overworked nurses are not given proper breaks or are forced to work overtime. In still other cases, the nurse's employer may be responsible if certain healthcare team members are forced to do tasks for which they were not trained.
According to a 2013 report in the Journal of Patient Safety, the number of hospitalized individuals who suffer preventable harm range from 210,000 to 440,000 every year. Anyone who believes a doctor or other provider may have acted negligently can consult with a Houston medical malpractice attorney for information, direction and advocacy.