Hospitals aren't just for emergencies; many Virginians find themselves in hospital care each year for everything from outpatient procedures to major surgeries. A hospital is staffed with just about every kind of medical professionals imaginable, which makes it a prime location for medical malpractice to take place.

The hectic nature of a hospital is what makes hospital malpractice in Virginia more common than you may imagine. The staff is normally quite rushed in this environment, making human error more frequent, and negligence more likely. As a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney I can tell you that there's a long list of things that can go wrong when hospital staff is neglectful in their duties.

Defining Hospital Malpractice in Virginia

There is a difference between medical malpractice and hospital malpractice in Virginia, but the results are the same: You are injured because of another's negligence. Hospital malpractice in Virginia is really a form of medical malpractice that just happens to take place within a hospital rather than a doctor's office or clinic.

The main thing that makes hospital malpractice in Virginia stand out is that you may have the right to sue the actual hospital for negligence rather than an individual as you would in a typical medical malpractice claim. You need to consult with a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney to determine if your claim may include a suit against the hospital rather than your doctor.

One of the main reasons you distinguish a claim of hospital malpractice in Virginia from a general medical malpractice claim is that many procedures in a hospital involve multiple medical professionals. Hospital malpractice errors may take place in one department and go through several nurses and doctors before they affect you, meaning there were several chances to correct the error.

Types of Hospital Malpractice in Virginia

Basically any time the staff of a hospital acts negligently in the duty they owe to your care, you have a case of hospital malpractice in Virginia. From janitors to anesthesiologists, every member of the staff must be diligent in making sure you leave their care with no more damage than when you arrived.

Some of the common types of hospital malpractice in Virginia include: 

  • Medication errors - wrong dosage, wrong medication, drug interactions or allergies
  • Surgical errors - leaving an item inside a patient, wrong site surgery, wrong procedure
  • Hospital infection
  • Improper use of anesthesia
  • Failure to diagnose or treat a condition
  • Incorrect treatment of a diagnosed condition
  • Failure to monitor or stabilize a patient
  • Improper use of a medical device
  • Birth injury or birth trauma. 

Many of these types of negligence can be fatal and may have been the result of an error made in a completely different department from the one treating you. Claims of this nature are often difficult to handle alone, which is why a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney can be a great asset in defending your claim.

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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.