Options for Medical Errors Involving Technology
Posted in Lawsuit on July 28, 2021
Medical technology has made significant advancements over the years, and the field continues to create new solutions each year. Just like how doctors can commit serious errors and harm patients, however, medical technology can malfunction or be used improperly, causing serious injuries and worsening illnesses. In these situations, you may be eligible for a lawsuit against the doctor operating the technology or its manufacturer.
Common Types of Technology-Related Medical Errors
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to uphold a duty of care to a patient, committing negligent acts or omissions that lead to injury or illness. For example, fail to accurately diagnose a condition or committing an error during surgery are acts of medical malpractice. In many of these cases, technology is involved in the negligent act.
There are many errors that could arise from medical technology.
- Robotic surgery errors: Many surgeons rely on robotic technology to perform surgery. However, these robots can malfunction, causing serious harm to patients during their procedures. Unintended movements, electrical sparking, or burn and broken pieces of tools falling into the patient can lead to serious injury and death.
- Electronic medical record mishandling: Many hospitals store patient information on electronic medical records (EMRs). However, miscommunication and mishandling of EMRs can lead to dangerous errors. For example, a doctor may fail to catch an abnormal test result contained in an EMR, or the record may fail to reflect a serious medication allergy.
- Infusion pump defects: Infusion pumps are devices used to administer medication, blood, nutrients, and other fluids to patients, similar to a syringe pump. However, the pump may be damaged, causing the patient to receive too much or too little of the required fluid. Additionally, a patient may suffer an injury due to software issues or hardware fires.
Legal Options for Medical Device Injury Victims
If you have been injured by a medical device, you may qualify for financial compensation. Depending on the cause of the device malfunction or error, you could file a lawsuit against the healthcare professional responsible for the error, or you could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective device.
In situations where the device error occurred due to the actions of your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider, you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her. For example, say that you are undergoing laparoscopic surgery and your surgeon is using a robot to perform the procedure. However, he or she lacerates one of your organs while using the device, causing internal bleeding and additional complications. In this situation, the actions of the surgeon are responsible for your injury and he or she would be liable for your damages.
In cases where the error occurred due to a hardware or software defect with the medical technology, you could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of the device. For example, say that you are receiving medication through an infusion pump and your doctor inputs the correct dosage into the device. However, the device contains a software issue that changes the concentration of your medication, causing you to overdose. In this situation, the device itself is to blame for the error and you would file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, not your doctor.
If you are injured by a medical device, contact a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you identify the cause of your injury and secure the compensation you need to recover.