There are many different factors that a person may consider when thinking about whether or not a doctor or other medical professional is the right fit for the individual’s medical needs, but determining that the equipment is properly maintained and fully functional likely is not part of the analysis. However, if this equipment fails, it may lead to serious injuries, or even death, which could have been avoided through the exercise of reasonable diligence.
Whether it is a doctor’s office, a large hospital, a nursing care facility, or other healthcare provider, there almost always are expensive and sensitive equipment being used to treat patients, as well as other more basic tools. Each piece of equipment or tool has a set of instructions relating to its use and maintenance. This protocol may address calibration, maintenance schedule, or how to program the equipment to get accurate results. In addition, most machines and tools will have procedures for sanitizing them after each use, in addition to more extensive sanitization done on a regular schedule.
Types of equipment failures, equipment malfunction, or issues caused by improperly cleaned tools
- Improper use of medical equipment;
- Failure to apply all necessary safety protocols when using medical equipment;
- Failure to maintain the equipment, leading to unsafe conditions;
- Failure to sanitize the equipment;
- Failure to train medical personnel on the proper use of equipment; and
- Failure to sanitize medical tools.
It is important for healthcare providers to have access to sophisticated equipment in order to perform diagnostic exams, monitor vital signs in order to assess the status of a patient, treat certain medical conditions, and even provide life-saving care. However, when these sensitive pieces of equipment are not utilized or maintained properly, it can lead to severe injuries that were entirely preventable.
Different categories of harm that may result from improper use or maintenance of medical equipment
- Failure to use diagnostic equipment properly – The ability to diagnose a medical condition is critical for the proper treatment. When diagnostic equipment is not used in an appropriate manner or there is a defect in the machine that leads to erroneous test results, then it can lead to devastating consequences, including the extreme progression of a medical condition that could have been effectively treated if discovered early enough;
- Malfunctioning monitors – As medical technology rapidly advances, there is less reliance on human monitoring of vital signs, such as taking a pulse and monitoring blood pressure, and more dependence on the output of a digital machine. If there is a calibration error, equipment failure, or some other problem, the patient’s condition could deteriorate without intervention to the point where there is serious injury that is long-term or permanent;
- Failure of equipment to perform critical function – There are many different ways in which equipment is used to provide important, and even life-sustaining, care to a patient. If the equipment fails in this role, it could have a dire effect on the health and wellbeing of the patient. The failure could be the result of errors in the coding and programming of the equipment, a failure to calibrate the machinery before use, or problems with the running of the equipment caused by software glitches or other malfunctions.
Part of operating an efficient and effective healthcare facility is maintaining the equipment to prevent failures or dangerous situations caused by unsanitary machines or tools. There may be a number of defendants in a malpractice case arising out of equipment failure, including a doctor who used equipment improperly and the hospital that failed to train him or her on the proper use of the machine, which is one example of many that could happen.
Stern Law, PLLC Strives to Help Medical Malpractice Victims
No matter how the malpractice may have happened, it is crucial to act quickly in order to hold the healthcare provider accountable and get the compensation that a person needs to move forward after a horrific injury. At Stern Law, PLLC, our malpractice attorney has advocated on behalf of those who have suffered because of a preventable medical error for more than 30 years. We understand how difficult it is to focus on legal rights after severe harm was done, so we take that burden off your shoulders. In addition to fighting for the legal rights of those who were injured because of medical negligence, we also serve as a resource, with dedicated staff available to answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for anyone who has a question or concern about medical malpractice, regardless of whether or not you are our client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.