Medical Malpractice In The Intensive Care Unit


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Patients being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) are already suffering from a serious medical condition that requires constant monitoring. Unfortunately, they are also more likely to suffer injury or harm from medical mistakes or malpractice. Some errors in the ICU may be understandable when you consider the complex illnesses and diseases and the number of surgically invasive procedures performed on ICU patients. However, the number of preventable adverse events occurring in ICUs is staggering.

In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, it is estimated that over 45 percent of the mistakes made in the ICU were preventable. In addition, mistakes are made within a wide range of physician specialties, with internal medicine having the highest number of medical malpractice claims, followed by cardiology, pulmonary medicine, general surgery, and anesthesia.

What Types Of Medical Mistakes Are Made In The ICU?

Many of the mistakes that happen in the intensive care unit of a hospital involve the misdiagnosis of a serious medical problem. In a situation like this, a patient may be provided with a course of treatment for a specific condition while they actually have another. The errant treatment could potentially cause more damage to the patient while the real, undiagnosed condition goes on untreated. The misdiagnosis can lead to severe complications, such as brain injury or even wrongful death, depending on the situation.

Medical negligence that occurs in the ICU may include the following errors:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Medication errors – wrong medication, wrong dosage
  • Inadequate post-op care
  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Nursing errors
  • Failure to properly and regularly monitor the patient’s vital signs
  • Lack of attention to patient care
  • Failure to acknowledge a patient has a serious medical condition

In any of the above cases (and many others not listed), medical personnel may be held accountable and financially liable for injuries or harm a patient sustains. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help victims find justice through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Was The Error Medical Malpractice?

In the ICU, medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and surgeons regularly have to make life-or-death decisions in a fast-paced and sometimes chaotic setting. Even so, there is no excuse for medical negligence. When an ICU staff member, makes a critical mistake or doesn’t meet the accepted standard of care, and a patient is harmed as a result, it may be a case of medical malpractice. If so, the injured patient might have the right to file a claim seeking compensation while also holding the liable party accountable.

What makes intensive care unit malpractice cases so complex is distinguishing whether the patient’s injury or death was the result of the serious medical condition that brought the patient to the ICU in the first place or if the issue was the result of the action or inaction of ICU personnel. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer will enlist the help of medical experts and investigators to review the details of the claim and get to the truth.

Free Consultations About ICU Negligence At Ross Feller Casey

The intensive care unit is especially susceptible to medical malpractice, like misdiagnosing a patient’s illness or other medical condition. Many of these cases are preventable – they are events that should never happen in an ICU.

At Ross Feller Casey, we have a team of top nationally recognized medical doctors on our staff to review ICU malpractice cases. They will review medical records to determine where the negligence occurred. Then our medical malpractice attorneys will begin preparing to litigate your case.

If you or a loved one has experienced an ICU mistake, Ross Feller Casey can help. We help victims like you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases), and pain and suffering. Our unmatched history of winning large verdicts and settlements in medical malpractice lawsuits speaks for itself. We have recovered more than $3 billion for our clients, and we’re ready to help you and your family, too.

Contact our office for additional information about filing your ICU malpractice claim. Consultations are free, and cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay a dime until we win your case.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.