As the first line of life-saving care, emergency medical technicians and paramedics have a vital role in rescue operations that involve ambulances and people who are seriously ill or injured. They are the first to arrive on the scene and work to keep the person alive. Every year thousands of lives are saved, however occasionally an error of judgment or conduct is made, decreasing the patient’s ability to survive.
Extended recovery time of a person rushed to the hospital can result from many acts of negligence or incompetence. Poor care or inattention can result in a patient being listed as dead on arrival. Some of the harmful situations encountered include:
- Improperly maintained or nonfunctioning medical or ambulance equipment.
- Insufficient staffing.
- Medication errors, such as administering too high a dose.
- Miscommunication, such as a technician misreporting the treatment received by the patient which may result in lack of care or more treatment than is necessary.
- Misdiagnosis, such as receiving care for the wrong condition, resulting in injury or death.
- Paramedic certification that has lapsed or is nonexistent.
- Procedural errors such as misplacing a breathing tube.
- Slow response.
- Traffic accidents involving ambulances can worsen the condition of patients who are being transported and delay proper treatment further.
Usually emergency care providers are employed by hospitals or governmental units. Patients need to file medical malpractice actions not only against the individual emergency care producers but also against their employers. In cases of direct liability, injured patients need to prove that the employer failed in supervising, training, or instructing emergency care providers and as a result of that failure the patient’s injury was increased. On the other hand, when trying to prove vicarious liability, it must be shown that an employee who worked as an emergency care provider has breached his or her duty of care and there was a causal connection between the negligent treatment and the injury.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.