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Lack of Oversight Is a Leading Cause of Medical Malpractice in Seattle Hospitals

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on October 12, 2016

Seattle is home to some of the top hospitals in the country. The hospitals are equipped with state of the art equipment and are home to ground-breaking surgical and treatment methods. Despite the high quality of our local area hospitals, surgical errors do happen at an alarming rate. A recent study found that one of the leading causes of surgical errors at a hospital is due to a lack of oversight.

Running a hospital involves many smaller systems and individuals who work together to ideally assist the operations with running smoothly. For example, a medical device company provides supplies to be used in surgery, and these supplies must be properly made. The nurses must be trained to perform certain treatments and spot warnings signs. The doctors must be experienced with diagnosing illnesses. The pharmacist must fulfill prescriptions in a timely manner to make sure patients get life-saving medicine in time. The hospital administration must schedule an adequate number of medical professionals to assist patients at any given time. These systems all work together to help the hospital function at peak efficiency.

But what happens when there is little oversight over the medical professionals or equipment? Surgical errors, known as medical malpractice, may result, leading to devastating and debilitating injuries or even death. First, a hospital employees thousands of various employees, and these employees have different levels of education and experience, work schedules, and salaries. Hiring underqualified employees and a lack of training and oversight over their duties can lead to careless errors. In addition, failure to properly monitor equipment, such as maintenance and cleaning, can increase the risk of malfunctioning equipment or unsterile equipment, resulting in injuries or infections.

In Seattle, a deadly infectious outbreak spread through hospitals due to poorly cleaned surgical equipment. Many pieces of surgical equipment are hard to clean properly and contain old pieces of tissue and bone from previous surgeries. A microscopic bug that fed on these particles began infesting the surgical equipment. When the tools were used again, the bugs infiltrated the patient, causing a fatal infection. The infections led to organ failure and sepsis. Tools commonly infiltrated by these tiny insects are bone shavers, cannulas that suck fluids during surgeries, and camera scopes used to explore inside the body.

If you or a loved one was injured by the haphazard cleaning of surgical tools, you have the right to seek compensation. Call our team of talented Seattle surgical malpractice attorneys today at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. to schedule a free consultation – (888) 228-3860.

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