When we think of New York medical malpractice, we typically think of doctors causing surgical errors, nurses making mistakes, and hospitals being sued for serious errors. However, there are many other types of healthcare providers who can be liable for medical malpractice, including physician assistants, dentists, nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists, dental hygienists, and even EMTs.
Yes, that is right—EMTs.
All healthcare professionals are held to the same skill, knowledge, and training of a professional in the same field with comparable experience and training. This includes even EMTs. An EMT can be negligent in rendering care to a patient, and that can be medical malpractice.
Common examples of EMT medical malpractice includes the following:
- Failure to diagnose a heart attack;
- Medication overdoses;
- Failure to diagnose a stroke;
- Failing to control bleeding;
- Improper use of a tourniquet;
- Moving a patient with a cervical spine injury;
- Dropping a patient;
- Improperly discharged a patient or not accepting a patient for treatment; and
- Failing to incubate a patient properly.
These types of mistakes can lead to serious health complications and even result in death. When we call for EMTs and emergency medical treatment, we expect that there is competent treatment. This means that we receive the appropriate care. This is not supposed to be superior and perfect care, or guarantee to save a patient, but the care needs to be competent, professional, and according to training. The EMT care needs to be within the standard of care and within what is reasonable under the circumstances.
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