When you or a loved one entrust your well-being to the care of healthcare professionals, you rightfully expect a certain standard of care and proper monitoring. Unfortunately, a provider’s failure to monitor can have heartbreaking consequences, leaving patients with avoidable injuries, worsened conditions, and shattered lives.
The Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. provide compassionate, effective legal representation to people who suffer harm under the care of negligent healthcare providers. We have successfully recovered more than $4 billion for our clients, including a $14 million settlement against a hospital for failure to monitor an ICU patient’s vital signs that resulted in death.
If you suffered a severe injury due to a medical provider’s failure to monitor you, contact our hard-hitting medical malpractice lawyersfor legal guidance and advocacy. The first consultation is free.
What is Failure to Monitor?
Failure to monitor describes a situation where a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to adequately and appropriately observe and assess a patient’s condition over a period of time. This lack of monitoring can lead to serious harm, injury, or even the patient’s death.
When Failure to Monitor Becomes Medical Malpractice
- Failure to monitor can become the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit if the following conditions apply:
You were under the care of a healthcare provider responsible for monitoring your condition.
- The provider failed to monitor your condition as another similarly trained healthcare provider in the same specialty would have done under the same circumstances.
- The healthcare provider’s failure to monitor harmed or injured you.
- You suffered loss due to the healthcare provider’s failure to monitor you.
When Do Patients Need to Be Monitored?
Healthcare providers must monitor patients in various healthcare settings and scenarios to ensure their safety and well-being. Monitoring involves regular observation, assessment, and tracking of the patient’s condition, vital signs, and pain levels in order to provide necessary and effective treatment. Here are some key situations in which patient monitoring is crucial:
- Post-surgical recovery – Patients require close monitoring to assess their vital signs, wound healing, and overall recovery progress after surgery. The likelihood of post-surgical complications increases without careful monitoring. According to an article in BMC Surgery, between 7 and 15 percent of surgical patients experience post-operative complications.
- Intensive care unit (ICU) – ICU patients are critically ill and require continuous monitoring to detect minor changes in their condition to enable prompt intervention. According to a Critical Care Research and Practice paper, healthcare professionals must monitor an ICU patient’s blood flow, body temperature, respiratory system, as well as macro- and micro-nutrients to maximize patient outcomes.
- Labor and delivery – Pregnant women and their unborn babies need continuous monitoring to ensure a safe delivery. This includes monitoring contractions, fetal heart rate, and maternal vital signs.
- Anesthesia – Patients undergoing anesthesia during surgery need constant monitoring of their heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and depth of anesthesia.
- Medication management – When doctors prescribe new medications, they must carefully monitor their patient’s condition to ensure proper dosage to avoid side effects and complications when prescribed in combination with other drugs.
- Mental health care – Individuals with mental health conditions need regular monitoring to assess their well-being, response to treatment, and potential risk of self-harm.
- Elder care – Older adults in nursing homes or long-term care facilities require frequent monitoring to avoid falls, malnutrition, medication complications, and other health problems.
Examples of Failure to Monitor as Medical Malpractice
Our attorneys handle all types of cases involving a provider’s failure to monitor. Examples include:
- Post-operative complications – Failure to monitor a patient’s condition in the minutes, hours, and days following surgery could result in infection, post-surgical bleeding, sepsis, or death.
- Fetal distress during labor – Failure to monitor a baby’s fetal heart rate and maternal contractions could result in missed signs of fetal distress, leading to birth injuries or oxygen deprivation for the baby.
- Anesthesia errors – Anesthesiologists who fail to monitor a patient’s condition during surgery could cause significant harm, including patient awareness during the operation, severe pain, and life-threatening complications.
- ICU neglect – An ICU patient’s condition can deteriorate rapidly if their attending physicians and nurses fail to monitor their conditions, increasing the risk of preventable deaths.
- Medication reactions – Doctors and pharmacists who fail to observe or address signs of adverse drug interactions could cause serious harm to their patients.
- Diabetes mismanagement – Neglecting to monitor blood glucose levels or adjust insulin dosages for diabetic patients could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperglycemia, or hypoglycemia.
- Mental health crisis – In mental health care, failure to closely monitor patients at risk of self-harm or suicide can lead to tragic outcomes.
- Follow-up care – Failure to follow up on changes in a patient’s symptoms or test results can lead to preventable consequences and severe conditions.
- Pressure ulcers – In long-term care settings, failure to regularly turn and reposition bedridden patients can result in the development of painful and potentially life-threatening bedsores.
Consult a PA medical malpractice lawyer to learn whether your situation meets the legal requirements for pursuing a failure-to-monitor lawsuit.
Who Can Be Held Responsible?
Various healthcare professionals can be held accountable when a patient suffers harm, depending on their roles and responsibilities in that patient’s care. Here are different types of healthcare professionals who could be liable if they failed to monitor the condition of a patient in their care appropriately:
- Psychiatrists and psychologists
- Hospitals and healthcare facilities
Get Help from an Experienced Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you suffered an injury due to a healthcare professional’s failure to monitor you, the proven trial lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. can be your voice, advocate, and legal force for justice. We handle the most challenging cases and work aggressively to achieve the best possible results for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in PA.