Improper Patient Transfers
Many patients in hospitals need specialized care that is not available in their local facilities. As such, they will be transferred to other hospitals. There are certain measures hospitals and their staff must take to ensure that a patient is safely relocated, but in many instances, errors and communication gaps lead to significant injuries. Health care providers that negligently harm patients should be held accountable, and anyone hurt due to improper patient transfers should speak to an attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, our dedicated Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are proficient at gathering the evidence needed to prove liability, and we will set forth persuasive arguments in favor of your recovery of damages.Harm that Occurs Due to Improper Patient Transfers
The transfer of patients between hospitals is common. While many people who are relocated are suffering from critical issues and need immediate care, others do not have any emergent concerns and simply need treatment not offered at their current location. Regardless of the reasons for transfers, hospitals should have defined measures in place to ensure that patients can be transported safely, to reduce the risk of harm. If they do not have plans in place or directives are ignored, it can lead to devastating losses.
One of the primary causes of harm during transfers is communication errors, such as failing to provide a complete medical history regarding a patient or offering inaccurate data. Other factors that can lead to patient harm are technical or maintenance issues, which can cause breakdowns or shortages of vital supplies like oxygen, avoidable delays during transfers, and unqualified professionals attending to patients during transfers.Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims
People harmed during improper transfers often suffer significant physical, emotional, and financial losses. As such, they often choose to pursue damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit from the parties responsible for their harm. Most medical malpractice cases will set forth negligence claims.
In Maryland, a plaintiff alleging medical negligence must show that the defendant breached the applicable standard of care. The standard that applies is the treatment that a competent practitioner in the same specialty as the defendant would render in the same situation. For example, if a reasonable doctor would require a patient to undergo a physical examination prior to transfer, but the defendant failed to do so, it may be considered a departure from the standard.
The plaintiff must also show actual harm that was proximately caused by the breach. This means that the defendant’s acts significantly contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries and that the plaintiff would not have been harmed absent the defendant’s behavior. Usually, a plaintiff will need to retain an expert that practices in the same area as the defendant to explain the standard of care to the judge or jury and to link the defendant’s behavior to the plaintiff’s harm. Expert testimony is also usually required to prove what injuries the plaintiff suffered, and to establish whether the harm is permanent, and what medical treatment the plaintiff needed or will need in the future.Damages Awarded in Medical Malpractice Cases
A plaintiff that proves a defendant’s liability for an improper transfer may recover compensation for the financial harm suffered. These damages may include the cost of any medical treatment, including medication and physical and occupational therapy, lost wages, and out of pocket expenses. The plaintiff may also be awarded damages for the intangible losses caused by the defendant, such as pain, suffering, and mental distress.Consult With a Lawyer in Baltimore
Transfers between hospitals should happen without incident, but unfortunately, improper patient transfers often cause serious harm. If you sustained damages due to an improperly performed transfer, you could be owed compensation from the providers that caused your harm, and it is prudent to consult with an attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, we zealously advocate on behalf of people harmed by negligent health care, and, if we represent you, we will fight to help you pursue a just result. We frequently represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to schedule a meeting.