Improper Use of Medical Equipment

A physician or other medical professional could scarcely do their job without such medical instruments and equipment. A doctor or hospital is held to a very high standard of care in protecting the health and welfare of its patients in regards to such equipment, regardless of the medical issue. 

Unfortunately, under certain circumstances a hospital or doctor may overlook proper procedures in using specialized medical equipment that may cause burns, scars, or further injury. In the worst case, death may occur as a result of the improper use of medical equipment.

Medical equipment includes but is not limited to:

  • Artificial limbs 
  • Blood pressure machines 
  • Blood glucose strips and meters 
  • Catheters and catheter bags 
  • Commodes 
  • Condoms 
  • Cholesterol tests 
  • Chlamydia test kits 
  • Contact lenses and solutions 
  • Dressings 
  • Examination gloves 
  • Hearing aids 
  • Incontinence pads 
  • Insulin pens 
  • Patient hoists 
  • Pregnancy test kits 
  • Prescribable footwear 
  • Pressure-relieving beds 
  • Stoma bags 
  • Syringes 
  • Thermometers 
  • Urine test strips 
  • Walking sticks and frames 
  • Wheelchairs

There are a number of different problems surrounding improper equipment and its use. 

  • Hazardous equipment – Including beds, bathroom facilities and common room facilities that are in a state of disrepair. A hospital or facility is responsible for said equipment, and are held to certain standards by law, to provide safety for their patients. Different states require equipment testing to maintain such standards and should be followed to the letter. Issues with staffing and time management can lead to dereliction of duties needed to maintain properly functioning equipment.
  • Lack of safety devices – Proper bed rails, wheelchairs, canes, and other forms of equipment listed above that aid a patient in functioning in the hospital or facility. 
  • Inadequate bedding – Includes unclean sheets, rickety beds, missing bed rails, failure to provide pads for incontinence. Uncomfortable lying positions can lead to a decubitis ulcer (bed sores) as can beds in poor condition. 
  • Lack of hygiene and cleanliness in any portion of the facility/hospital. Spills in bathrooms or clutter can lead to falls or other injury. 
  • Lack of proper medical equipment keeps patients from receiving the appropriate, and potentially life saving care. Short circuiting machines, broken toilets, malfunctioning heart monitors lead to obvious concerns, possible injuries, even death. 
  • Lack of proper training in utilizing medical equipment. An improperly trained phlebotomist may inadvertently cause injuries when drawing blood. X-ray technicians not covering patients with the required aprons to protect them from potentially damaging radiation. Both are examples of individuals not adept at using the equipment necessary to treat patients.  

If you or a loved one has experienced injury due to faulty or improper use of medical equipment you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages incurred by these mistakes. Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let our experts review the facts. You may have a medical malpractice case. If we decide to accept your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee for representation unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds made on your behalf.