When we think of medical malpractice, we commonly think about the doctor who botches a diagnosis or the surgeon who leaves gauze or other pieces in the patient after the procedure is complete. However, we may not think about the equipment itself being the culprit in a malpractice action. After all, we are conditioned to believe that equipment is flawless and can never fail; while doctors (because they are human) will invariably make mistakes.
This notion itself may be flawed. According to a medicaldaily.com report, 70 percent of surgical error cases are based on equipment failures instead of doctors’ errors. Specifically, errors were based on equipment settings and improper configurations for a particular procedure; as well as direct equipment failures.
Indeed, it is questionable as to how these issues can occur. While they may not be directly attributable to human error, they are example of how the failure to use reasonable care can lead to a patient being harmed. When this occurs, an injured patient could hold a hospital liable for their injuries.
These possibilities lead hospitals to incorporate preoperative checklists that include testing of equipment to ensure their functionality prior to a procedure, as well as post-operative checks in order to prepare for the next procedure. According to the World Health Organization, these checklists could substantially reduce equipment errors, and subsequently patient injuries.
In the meantime, if you have questions about whether the lack of procedures, or equipment malfunctions, led to your injuries, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help.