Law Office of JoJene E. Mills, P.C.
520.529.3200 Toll Free 866.529.3201

The difference between negligence and an adverse event, part 2

The last blog post described a fictional event in which a hospital patient had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic given to her by hospital personnel. The fictional doctor in that scenario followed the prescribed standard of care. He checked the patient's chart, reviewed her history and saw nothing that would indicate this patient would have an allergic reaction. He even questioned the patient himself about possible allergies.

As a result, the allergic reaction was considered an adverse event (i.e. a bad outcome but one that could not reasonably have been anticipated) as opposed to medical malpractice. Now let's look a different situation.

The doctor is in a hurry, seriously distracted or simply a poor doctor. He fails to check the patient's chart for potential allergies and/or does not check with the patient herself. In that scenario, the doctor could liable for negligence, which is a form of medical malpractice.

In order to demonstrate negligence, it has to be shown that the medical practitioner's conduct fell below the standard of care. Checking a history is an accepted standard of care, especially since failing to do so can endanger a patient's life. If the patient was administered a drug and had an allergic reaction which could have been avoided, he could be considered negligent and therefore guilty of medical malpractice.

There are only a limited number of ways to prove malpractice and negligence is one of them. If you believe you have been victim of medical malpractice, you may wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in that area of practice. He or she will be able to help you analyze your case and help you decide if it is worth filing a suit.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information