As COVID-19 continues to impact our nation, many individuals are beginning to take a closer look at their recent medical care, wondering if they have suffered a serious injury due to the actions and inactions of medical providers. In the United States alone, there have been approximately 1 million cases of the novel coronavirus with more than 50,000 deaths. A number which proportionately may not seem statistically significant, but for the families who have lost loved ones, this is critical. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of COVID-19, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
Protections to Healthcare Workers
Right now, under the federal CARES Act, there are some limited protections afforded to the medical community for their efforts in caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Pennsylvania has not yet signed into law a temporary order of immunity from malpractice claims.
While the work the medical community is doing during the tumultuous time is imperative to the nation, we need not forget the rights of those who have been injured as a result of negligent actions.
Common Medical Malpractice Claims for COVID-19 Victims
Given the nature of this new strain of the coronavirus, doctors are working diligently everyday to note new and emerging symptoms. However, when a patient has symptoms that are not in line with those quantified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical providers may misdiagnose the patient, resulting in the patient’s condition worsening or even death. Because of this, many individuals are reviewing the following common medical malpractice claims to see if their situation may apply.
- Failure to Diagnose: Though we know that COVID-19 testing kits are limited, some families are questioning the methodology of testing patients with symptoms. When a medical provider fails to properly diagnose a patient, or write a referral for testing, that patient may go days or weeks untreated and unmonitored, resulting in the condition worsening.
- Complications of Procedure: Many COVID-19 severe cases result in intubation to aid in breathing. However, when the patient is not properly intubating, the patient may experience severe injuries such as airway trauma, laceration of the vocal cords or trachea, hypoxemia, and intubation of the esophagus.
- Failure to Monitor: Hospitals are currently overwhelmed with patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. With the influx of care needed, mistakes are bound to occur. When a patient is not monitored properly, this can result in injury, extending health complications, or death.
- Medication Errors: Because there is no cure for COVID-19, many medical providers are managing the symptoms, not the cause. However, when doctors neglect to ask the right questions or fail to communicate with others on staff on the patient’s medical records such as allergies, there can be serious complications. In addition, if a patient is given medication that requires extensive monitoring once administered and does not receive that care, the patient may sustain injuries.
We know our healthcare providers are working hard to keep us safe. But when they do not receive the support they need, indirectly, it can impact patient care quality. And when your loved one is injured as a result, you deserve justice.
If you or someone you love have suffered because of a healthcare professional’s negligence, during a COVID-19 related health crisis, do not wait. Contact the Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton medical malpractice lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today for a free consultation.