One of the biggest reasons why the American government in many states have instituted shut-downs of nonessential businesses is to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic–that is, to help keep the hospital systems from being overloaded and causing even more deaths than would happen otherwise.
But just because we’re doing our part by staying home doesn’t mean that it’s possible to avoid hospitalization altogether, and when that happens, it’s important that a certain standard of care is met, regardless of whether there is a pandemic currently sweeping throughout the country.
Physicians and medical caretakers are only human, and of course they are bound to make mistakes, especially given the huge increase in their workload as of late. However, that’s no excuse for potentially injuring, neglecting, or even causing the death of someone who is currently in the care of the hospital system. Mistakes that are the result of neglect or intentional irresponsibility may fly under the radar during this time, which is why it is more important than ever for everyone to keep detailed records of their hospitalization and recovery.
Hospitalization for COVID-19: Malpractice and Wrongful Death
States like California and New York have already seen a massive rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Even if you’re not in a state with an overloaded medical system, malpractice can still happen when you are hospitalized with COVID.
For instance, incorrectly-placed intubation can damage your throat and vocal cords, leaving lasting injuries that can affect your ability to speak and swallow. In places that lack the proper amount of ventilators, doctors have to choose who to intubate and who to leave without modern medical interventions. While it’s no secret that doctors and nurses have to make hard decisions and we should be empathetic towards that, it makes a difference when it is your loved one whose health has been impacted or even who has died as a result of a substandard level of care.
A large issue that COVID-19 has shed light upon is how woefully underprepared the medical system of the United States is to deal with a large-scale crisis like this, and the consequences will only be counted after it is all over. But just because we are in the middle of a pandemic does not mean you should wait to act if you suspect that malpractice or even wrongful death may have occurred.
If you or a loved one has been left permanently injured or even perished due to the neglect of a medical provider, the circumstances are moot–it is imperative that those who are responsible are brought to justice.
Especially in the wake of this crisis, you must move quickly, so do not hesitate to contact a medical malpractice attorney who can help you to figure out the next steps for your case. Many attorneys are now scheduling clients through online meetings to accommodate their clients who are safely quarantined at home, so be sure to choose an attorney who is willing to adapt to the changing world that we live in.