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What you should know about hospital negligence

Hospital negligence is a term typically used to describe an incident that occurs in a hospital or medical facility either on purpose or inadvertently. This type of negligence is said to cause a negative effect to the health of a patient. Although hospital negligence and medical malpractice are often used in the same fashion, they are not always considered the same thing when examined in a court of law.

Hospital negligence is perpetrated by a member of a staff who works at the hospital and may include everyone from doctors and nurses to even the hospital administrators. The effects of negligence are generally caused by either an action or an inaction.

As an example, hospital negligence could be said to have occurred if a patient develops bed sores while staying in the hospital because the hospital staff failed to properly care for the patient while the person was confined to a bed. Since these types of cases are incidents that had negative repercussions for the patient, they are typically filed in court as a civil lawsuit.

On the other hand, if a person is brought to the hospital because he or she is having a heart attack, but the hospital staff is not able to revive the person and they die, this would not be considered hospital negligence. If the doctor is operating on the person, however, and the person dies because there is a doctor error and he or she has done something incorrectly that could have been avoidable, then hospital negligence has occurred and the doctor and hospital could potentially be sued for medical malpractice or hospital negligence.

Individuals who believe they or their loved ones are the victim of hospital negligence may find it beneficial to seek the services of an experienced West Virginia attorney.

Source: WiseGeek, "What Is Hospital Negligence?" G. Wiesen, accessed Jan. 12, 2015

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