The definition of neglect is the absence of minimal services or resources to meet basic needs. Patient neglect is a specific type of medical malpractice is against healthcare ethics. To view our general page on medical malpractice, click here. All medical providers, including doctors, dentists, hospitals, nursing homes and other treatment or residential facilities owe a duty of proper medical treatment to their patients. The medical needs of the patient must not be ignored by a treatment provider or facility providing medical services to the patient. It is the legal duty of hospitals and nursing homes or residential facilities to providing supervision for the safety and security of its patients. Sadly, patients often times do not receive the attention necessary to maintain their health.
Knowledge is Power
A recent study by BioMed Central reviewed the prevalence of patient neglect in the United States. The study identified two types of patient neglect:
Procedure neglect occurs with a treating medical professional performs a procedure below the recognized standard of care. For instance, removal of the wrong limb or tooth would be considered procedure neglect. Puncturing an organ during a surgery and failing to treat the puncture would also be considered procedure neglect.
Caring neglect occurs when ongoing treatment and care provided by medical professionals like nurses are below the recognized standard of care. It also refers to behaviors that give the impression that staff members lack compassion for clients and bystanders. For instance, failing to provide adequate nutrition or meals to someone who is bedridden would be considered caring neglect. Failure to frequently turn a patient, leading to the development of bed sores which are considered patient injuries, is also caring neglect. Besores can also lead to hospital-acquired pressure ulcers.
The study found that patient neglect occurs much more often than is reported. This is caused by medical professionals being reluctant to self-report their own mistakes or the mistakes of their colleagues. In fact, the American Journal of Medical Quality estimates that 90% of all medical care safety issues go unreported and are not in compliance with safety protocols.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of neglect?
The consequences of patient neglect are very serious. Neglect can result in malnutrition, bed sores, atrophy, unsanitary personal hygiene, and untreated medical conditions. Identifying these ‘symptoms’ can really help your loved ones be cared for. Have you or a family member been neglected by medical providers? Contact us to talk to an attorney about your potential case. You and your family deserve the best treatment – don’t settle for less. For damages and losses brought on by negligence, the nursing home may be held financially accountable. Holding nursing facilities financially responsible for patient mistreatment can aid in averting additional instances of abuse or neglect. Patient neglect is unacceptable, and our team of attorneys will hold medical providers accountable.
If you are a victim of patient neglect, contact our lawyer, Cooley Iuliano Robey. Call 859-258-2697 to discuss your case or lawsuit with an attorney today.