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Family awarded $7.8 million for hospital negligence

Hospitals in New Mexico and throughout the country are supposed to be safe places where people can get medical treatment without having to worry about suffering additional injuries. And that is the case for the vast majority of medical facilities. The healthcare staff has the proper training, and they do everything they can to help patients.

Still, hospital negligence occurs far too often. A healthcare provider who fails to administer the correct type of care can cause devastating and long-term ailments for a patient. Often in these cases, the victim must seek out legal assistance to secure the compensation needed for long-term care or permanent disability.

Readers in Albuquerque may be interested in a recent hospital negligence judgment that awarded a family $7.8 million to help their severely injured child. In 2004 the (then) 12-year-old boy was taken to the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center in Tennessee to have a wound treated after he had fallen on a nail.

Court documents indicate that hospital staff failed to follow proper infection-prevention procedures and that the boy was not given the correct antibiotics. He subsequently developed an infection involving flesh-eating bacteria and slipped into a coma that caused severe brain damage.

Medical procedures and policies are put in place to prevent mistakes like this one, but they still occur. Why? Reasons include insufficient staff training, poor communication between staff members and overall poor management. Negligent doctors also make judgment calls without knowing all the facts.

The types of patient injuries that can result from medical malpractice or negligence range from mild inconveniences to fatalities. New Mexico residents who believe they have been victimized by hospital negligence or a doctor's error should know that there are laws designed to protect them. After all, there is no good reason an injury caused by another party's negligence should result in financial hardship for the victim.

Source: KOB.com, "Jury awards $7.8M in hospital negligence suit," Aug. 31, 2012

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