Being a patient in a hospital is very stressful. You should be able to feel comfortable in the knowledge that the doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel are using safe equipment that is working properly, has been inspected for safety, and is up to date. It is also expected that the caregivers who are operating the machines have been properly trained in the use of that equipment. However, this is not always the case. Some hospitals have medical equipment that is defective, fails, or the user makes an error. The greater the severity of a patient’s condition or illness, the greater the importance the reliability and proper use of hospital’s equipment becomes. Negligence in the use or care of medical equipment is more common that it should be and can lead to catastrophic injuries or death.
Dangers to Patients
A significant amount of technology is used in hospitals. Patients are exposed to many medical devices such as IVs, pumps, heart monitors, blood sugar monitors, defibrillators, anesthesia machines, and blood pressure machines. Specialized equipment is used from the beginning of a patient’s care, starting with diagnosis, correct treatment, successful recovery, and in some cases, sustaining life. If there is a problem with any of these devices, whether it a product defect, maintenance or repair problems, or operator error, it can lead to permanent injuries or even death. Patients should not have to worry about the possibility of medical equipment malfunctioning. It is the product manufacturers and the hospital staff who should be monitoring it regularly responsibility to make sure the equipment works right and that personnel are trained to use it correctly.
It is the responsibility of the hospital and medical centers in possession of the medical equipment to perform proper and regular maintenance. If the equipment is not properly maintained (or is not maintained at all) it could malfunction or fail. This could adversely impact proper diagnosis, monitoring of patients, prompt treatment, and patient safety since staff and patients rely on the equipment.
Should a patient be injured or die due to the failure of medical equipment, it is a form of medical malpractice. Many types of medical equipment can fail due to manufacturer defects, negligent maintenance, or improper use. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the failure of medical equipment, you should contact an attorney to determine who is responsible and advise you on your rights.
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