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If you have ever received medical care or treatment at a Philadelphia hospital, you may have witnessed the nation’s nurse and hospital understaffing firsthand. In fact, if you are reading this and looking for an experienced hospital understaffing attorney in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you may have been harmed by the nursing and hospital shortage.

“What does it mean to be a victim of hospital understaffing?” some of you might wonder. The consequences of hospital or nurse understaffing can take many forms. For example, you may have had to wait for an unreasonably long period of time for a nurse to respond to your call, or nurses failed to properly monitor you during your stay at the hospital because they could not physically handle the workload at an understaffed hospital, or you suffered a hospital infection due to overworked hospital staff.

The nursing and hospital staff shortage in the U.S.

Yes, when hospital staff have more on their plate than they can realistically handle, many things can go wrong. Still, many hospitals can’t do anything about the shortage of nurses and other staff members simply because the nation has a problem with nursing and hospital staff shortage.

Why aren’t there enough nurses and other medical professionals in the United States? There are multiple reasons why, but the most common ones are: low pay, long hours, high-stress work environment, and the burdensome responsibility of providing medical care.

Why nursing and hospital understaffing poses dangers to patients

Our Philadelphia hospital understaffing attorney from The Weitz Firm, LLC, explains that the quality of medical care that hospitals provide to patients declines when there are not enough staff members to cater to patient needs. Understaffed hospitals are more likely to be negligent or careless, breach the duty of care and cause injury to their patients.

Multiple studies have shown the direct link between the shortage of nurses and other members of hospital staff and the heightened risk of:

  • Patient mortality (for each additional patient assigned to an individual nurse, there is a 7-percent increase in the risk of patient death);
  • Health complications such as pressure ulcers and weight loss; and
  • Urinary tract, surgical site, and other types of hospital infections.

Is hospital understaffing a form of medical malpractice?

Studies estimate that each year, up to 500,000 patients die in hospitals due to medical malpractice. It’s fair to say that many of these patient fatalities can be prevented if hospitals had an adequate number of medical professionals and nurses monitoring patients and providing the highest quality of medical care.

But does it mean that you can recover damages when injured or harmed as a result of hospital understaffing? Definitely, though proving that your injury or infection at the hospital was caused by hospital or nurse understaffing may not be easy.

In fact, more often than not, patients need to seek legal help from a Philadelphia nurse understaffing lawyer to prove that the shortage of nurses or other members of hospital staff led to their particular injury, illness, or other type of harm.

Under Pennsylvania law, hospitals owe their patients a high standard of care, and understaffing cannot be used as an excuse to escape liability. Let our attorneys at The Weitz Firm, LLC, evaluate your case and help you prove that understaffing caused your injury. Call at 267-587-6240 for a free case evaluation.

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