Overview of Equipment Failure in a Chicago HospitalEquipment failure in a Chicago hospital typically occurs because of human error or defective equipment. If the equipment fails because of human error, you may have reason for a Chicago medical malpractice case. However, if the equipment fails because of a defective part; then you may have a product liability case. In either situation, you should consult with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer who can help determine liability. While you may not think equipment failure is a typical occurrence in hospitals, it happens more often than many people think. Every year in the United States thousands of patients are injured or killed because of medical mistakes. A recent study indicated that approximately 1.5 million patients in the United States experience injuries from medical errors. Some of these medical errors are due to equipment failure. Types of Equipment Failure in Chicago’s HospitalsWith so much equipment being used in Chicago’s hospitals, there are potentials for all kinds of mistakes that can occur. Equipment failure in a Chicago hospital is most commonly associated with:
- intravenous pumps (IV);
- x-ray equipment;
- heart defibrillators;
- cancer diagnostic equipment;
- anesthetic machines; and
- blood pressure equipment.
Preventing Equipment Failure in a Chicago HospitalAs with all types of medical errors, prevention is of utmost importance when it comes to addressing this public health issue and common source of Chicago medical malpractice cases. Some hospitals have even developed safety teams to address medical equipment failure. These teams focus solely on making sure that hospital equipment is functioning properly and is properly maintained to protect patients’ safety. Some of the specific ways that equipment failure in a Chicago hospital could be prevented include:
- developing hospital policies concerning the care and safety of hospital equipment;
- keeping an inventory on equipment that is at risk of failing;
- performing regular checks/maintenance on equipment;
- training all medical professionals on the proper way to operate and use hospital equipment; and
- teaching patients what they should expect from the equipment (including sounds or actions so they know when something is not working properly).
Medical Negligence and Equipment Failure in a Chicago HospitalMost instances of equipment failure in a Chicago hospital are due to human error, or medical negligence. When Chicago medical professionals fail to properly operate hospital equipment, don’t understand what the alarms and beeps indicate, or don’t carefully monitor a patient, there is the risk that hospital equipment may fail. Chicago medical negligence can occur for a number of reasons, some of them being:
- understaffed facility;
- overworked staff;
- staff fatigue;
- miscommunication with either patients or other medical staff;
- medical personnel are in a rush;
- poor notations written in patient charts/records;
- too many patients; and
- lack of training and experience.