Outdated equipment can lead to patient harm

Have you ever thought about how the equipment your doctor uses can affect your medical care? If not, you should think about that. Some of the medical innovations that occur come with new or improved equipment. If your doctor doesn't have access to the necessary equipment, you might not get the care you need.

It is often difficult to determine if the equipment your doctor is using is outdated. In some cases, it can be impossible because you aren't an expert in the field. You probably don't know what you are looking for when you are trying to determine if the equipment is up-to-date. Instead, you rely on your doctor's expertise.

If you are injured by medical malpractice, a look at the equipment that the doctor used might be in order. Doctors owe you a duty of care, and when that duty is breached, you might have a claim for compensation.

How the medical equipment can come into the picture is determined by your specific case. Faulty or outdated equipment that can lead to patient harm might be the basis of a medical negligence claim.

An example of how faulty equipment might lead to harm occurred when a faulty ultrasound machine failed to pick up a baby's heartbeat. Doctors allowed the woman to labor on thinking that the baby was dead. The baby wasn't dead, but was born with brain damage because of the delay. For a decade, the hospital hadn't done maintenance on the machine. A successful claim for compensation was made in the amount of $78 million.

Make sure that you consider all possible causes when you file a medical malpractice claim. This can have a big impact on your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Medical Malpractice for Doctor's Use of Outdated Medical Equipment," Ephrat Livni, Esq., accessed July 26, 2016

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