Medical Malpractice and Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
In Pennsylvania, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims are taken very seriously. Wrongful death is defined in Pennsylvania law as a death that occurred due to the wrongful or negligent act of another person or entity. In order to pursue a wrongful death claim in Pennsylvania, the surviving family members must show that the defendant acted negligently and that the negligence was directly responsible for the decedent’s death. Medical malpractice is also considered a form of negligence and can involve errors made by doctors, nurses, hospitals or other healthcare providers.
Medical Malpractice Can Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
Failure to adequately treat and take care of a patient in Pennsylvania may lead to a wrongful death claim if they die due to negligence. The following are some of the common ways negligence is involved, leading to a medical malpractice case:
- A failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a medical condition: When a doctor fails to properly diagnose a serious condition, the patient may not be able to receive appropriate and timely treatment which can lead to their death.
- Improper treatment for an existing condition: In some cases, doctors may prescribe the wrong type of medication or incorrect dosage which can result in severe harm or even death of the patient.
- Negligent surgical errors: Surgical mistakes such as performing an operation on the wrong part, leaving a foreign object inside the body after surgery or causing excessive bleeding are all examples of medical malpractice that could potentially lead to a fatality.
- Unsanitary conditions: If a hospital or other healthcare facility is not properly sanitized, patients may contract life-threatening infections that could result in death.
- Anesthesia errors: When administering anesthesia, doctors must take extreme care as even a small mistake can have deadly consequences. Some examples of anesthesia errors that could lead to wrongful death claims include incorrect dosage, failing to monitor the patient during surgery and using outdated equipment.
How a Pharmacist Can Be Guilty of Medical Malpractice
Even a pharmacist may be held liable for a wrongful death in Pennsylvania due to negligence such as the following:
- Dispensing the wrong medication: If a pharmacist dispenses the incorrect medicine, either due to a misreading of the doctor’s prescription or failing to check for drug interactions, it can result in severe harm or even death.
- Failing to warn patients about potential side effects: Pharmacists should always inform patients about any potential side effects of taking certain medicines and how best to take them safely. Neglecting to do so could lead to wrongful death claims if serious harm is caused as a result.
- Providing inaccurate instructions: When dispensing medications, pharmacists must provide clear and accurate instructions on how they should be taken. Otherwise, the patient may take an incorrect dosage which could lead to serious health consequences or death.
- Failing to monitor drug interactions: Pharmacists must always pay close attention when filling prescriptions in order to ensure that two drugs being taken together will not interact with each other and cause negative side effects. Neglecting this responsibility can result in wrongful death claims if patients suffer harm due to dangerous drug combinations.
Travis Law Firm: Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Claims
At Travis Law Firm, we represent Pennsylvania families whose loved ones have lost their lives due to the negligence of others. Call (814) 277-2222 to schedule a free consultation to look over your case, answer any questions you might have and let you know what available options are to recover compensation. We can also be reached through our online contact form. Obtaining fair compensation for you will be our top priority.