Medical and Surgical Errors
During treatment or a surgery procedure, patients trust surgeons, doctors, and nurses to have exceptional knowledge and skills that allow them to handle the situation well without any errors involved. However, this is not always the case as mistakes happen which often leads to harm to the patients. Some of these errors include inappropriate medicine, prescription errors, wrong route of taking medicine, and leaving surgical apparatus inside the patient’s body (Missios, & Bekelis, 2015). The effect of the error might result in death or disabilities. Despite the time taken to feel the effect of a medical or surgical error, these mistakes are unacceptable, and the hospital, doctor, or the nurse present during the operation is held liable for the mistake (Daniels, Ruttiman, Eltorai, DePasse, Brea, & Palumbo, 2017). Therefore, this paper focuses on liability, malpractices, and negligence in Bella hospital surgery and how to use malpractices as an opportunity to improve.
Liability in surgery means the state of being legally accountable for all the surgical operations performed. Liability stretches from the nurses to the surgeon or the health facility as a whole. Under the doctrine respondeat superior, a health facility is held liable for any mistakes the surgeon or the nurses perform provided the operation was carried out during the working hours of the health facility. Also according to vicarious liability, the surgeon is held accountable for mistakes performed by a nurse, medical student, operating under the supervision of the surgeon (Missios, & Bekelis, 2015). However, even the nurses who were following the surgeon’s orders may be held responsible.
In the case of the surgical error at Bella hospital, the nurse was liable for leaving the sponge inside the body of a patient. All the tools used in surgery should be returned in their respective racks and sponges disposed of well after they are used. Also, the surgeon should ensure that no foreign object is left inside the patient’s body before closing the incision. Bella hospital could be sued by the plaintiff for allowing such a reckless deed to happen to a patient under surgery in their hospital. Therefore, each and everyone involved directly or indirectly with surgery should take necessary measures to avoid harm to the patient or a huge fine to the health facility or individuals.
When a patient consults a doctor about any surgery, there are duties that the surgeon or health facility owes the patient, which include a duty of care: to whether perform the task, in coming up with the best treatment, and in the administration of the treatment (Daniels et al., 2017). Breach of any of these duties may initiate legal procedures to recover damages from the doctor’s or health facility’s negligence (Svider, Eloy, Folbe, Carron, Zuliani, & Shkoukani, 2015). Surgical negligence differs from an accident in that negligence is mistake, which could have been avoided if the task was carried differently.
In the case of Bella hospital, the failure to remove the surgical sponge after completion of the operation was an act of negligence for both the nurse and the surgeon. If the nurse could have been following the whole procedure during surgery, such mistakes could not have taken place. It is the responsibility to ensure that the entire task is performed in the best possible way and ensure that the whole task is supervised. Enclosing the incision without confirming if there is any foreign material inside is a violation of the duty of care, which might attract a damage fee.
Surgery malpractices happen when surgeon or healthcare provider neglect, omit or provide substandard services that result in harm, death or injuries to a patient. According to Medical Malpractices in the US, there are fifteen thousand to nineteen thousand suits against healthcare provider per year (Missios, & Bekelis, 2015). Surgery sponge inside the human body, especially in the circulatory system, may bring complications such as difficulty in breathing. Since this causes harm to the patient, then this qualifies to be medical malpractice. Therefore, a malpractice lawsuit can be exercised by the patient on the surgeon, nurse or the entire Bella hospital.
Bella Hospital Negligence as an Opportunity for Improvement
Improve Patient Safety
The enclosure of surgical sponge in a patient body provided a ground, which the process of such surgery is scrutinized. By investigating the actual cause of surgical errors, new methods are put across to ensure such mistakes do not happen again in the future (Svider et al., 2015). This ensures that upcoming operation is carried out with care to avoid the same or even worse mistakes thus safeguarding the life and safety of clients undergoing surgery.
Mitigate Losses in Future
Malpractices such as the case with the nurse at Bella hospital can be accompanied by losses to the hospital, nurse fine, or surgeon losses. This can occur when the patient files a suit against any of the three. By understanding the consequences of such negligence and malpractices, plans are put in place to ensure the safety of the patients hence possibility of fines is eliminated at the same time are the malpractices costs.
Allows Development of New Methods
Bella hospital incidence allowed them to carry out investigations of what might have facilitated the incident to occur and how it could have been avoided. Therefore, new methods are created to ensure such malpractices can no longer occur and even other methods to handle other medical errors such as prescription are addressed to safeguard life and avoid losses.
Doctor, nurses, and healthcare center are liable for any treatment to inform of prescription or surgery performed on a patient. Any action that violates the duty of care constitutes malpractice or negligence. Malpractices are offenses which the patient can sue the health facility or the professionals. The malpractices provide a platform over which improvements can be made and losses due to malpractices avoided.
Daniels, A. H., Ruttiman, R., Eltorai, A. E., DePasse, J. M., Brea, B. A., & Palumbo, M. A. (2017). Malpractice litigation following spine surgery. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, 27(4), 470-475.
Missios, S., & Bekelis, K. (2015). Spine surgery and malpractice liability in the United States. The Spine Journal, 15(7), 1602-1608.
Svider, P. F., Eloy, J. A., Folbe, A. J., Carron, M. A., Zuliani, G. F., & Shkoukani, M. A. (2015). Craniofacial surgery and adverse outcomes: an inquiry into medical negligence. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 124(7), 515-522.