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How Does Understaffing Lead to Medical Malpractice in Hospitals?

Posted on : July 20, 2019

Understaffing At Hospitals

When you are injured or ill, you go to the hospital trusting the staff there to care for you to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, when there’s not enough staff for the number of patients in the hospital, problems arise. Medical malpractice is a common result of understaffing in hospitals, which often causes critical injuries and even death. Here’s what to do if you or a loved one were hurt in the hospital due to understaffing. 

Hospital Understaffing Facts

Many hospitals simply don’t have enough nurses or other staff to support the number of patients. In a 2014 study of 3,300 nurses, 77% reported that their job did not allow them to eat regularly. 67% reported that they got less than 7 hours of sleep at night, and 31% said that they only get enough sleep two to three nights out of the week. 

Why Are So Many Hospitals Understaffed? 

Hospitals are notoriously understaffed because the demand put on nurses and other key support staff is often too much for a single person. In the same study, 89% of nurses said they are unable to do their jobs well because their superiors were apathetic. 75% suggested that they don’t feel like they have the authority they need. 

What Happens When Hospitals Are Understaffed? 

Medical errors often occur due to hospital understaffing, the most common among them including: 

  • Post-op infections. Skeleton crews in the OR can result in staff cutting corners, which may result in preventable infections. Depending on the type of infection, this can be very serious. 
  • Falls. Patients who are left unsupervised may fall due to instability caused by injury or medication. 
  • Critical injury or death. Patients can be injured or pass away as a result of not receiving resuscitation or lifesaving help. If nurses are busy with other patients, they may not get to the patient in need of critical assistance soon enough.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer If You Were the Victim of Medical Malpractice 

Don’t wait to get legal help if you or someone you love was hurt at the hospital due to medical malpractice or negligence. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn how you can protect your rights under Indiana law and what steps you can take to hold the hospital that harmed you responsible for their actions. Call Sarkisian Law Offices today at (219) 942-7171. 


Posted in : A. Leon Sarkisian

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