Albany Medical Center Hospital ("Albany Med") is the largest single hospital in the Capital Region, and serves as a base for patients from a wide swath of New York State.
By and large, Albany Med employs high quality physicians and nursing staff, who are good at their jobs and provide excellent care.
There are, however, exceptions. While Albany Med is often provides high quality medical treatment, there are occasions on which, in part due to its size and staffing concerns, avoidable mistakes happen.
Types of avoidable accidents at Albany Medical Center Hospital
Avoidable accidents at Albany Med (or any other hospital) can include any number of possibilities. Typically these accidents are the result of failure to pay adequate attention to a patient or failure to recognize certain risks associated with procedures.
These may include:
Falls from beds and/or operating room tables during surgery. When a patient undergoes surgery involving any type of anesthesia or sedation, the patient is putting their faith in the hospital and its staff to ensure his or her safety. This goes without saying.
Certain measures can and should be taken when a patient undergoes surgery, including steps to ensure that the patient is adequately sedated for the procedure, and also that the patient is properly secured to the operating room table during the surgery.
Patients do, on occasion, move during surgery, and the failure to ensure that the patient is adequately secured and/or monitored can lead to the patient falling from the table. In this situation, given the vulnerability of the patient's position, a fall can prove devastating and can lead to massive problems including head injuries and injuries to other parts of the body.
A fall from an operating room table, while rare, can and does occur.
More frequently, patients who are not properly monitored fall from beds. In these situations, it is not at all uncommon to see a patient suffer a fractured hip, leg or arm, often requiring surgical repair.
Make no mistake, an adequately monitored patient should not fall out of a hospital bed, and when this happens it is often the result of the negligence of one or more staff members. Most hospitals, including Albany Medical Center, have very specific protocol to ensure that patients do not fall from hospital beds, which includes the use of bed rails, special mattresses or increased observation. In some cases when a patient has fallen it is the direct result of the failure to have followed the established protocols.
Development of pressure ulcers or bed sores.
Bed sores (also known as pressure ulcers) are open wounds that develop when a patient (often a patient with a compromised immune system) is left in one position in a bed for too long. The problem with bed sores is that once they have developed they can be difficult to heal, and if not adequately treated they can develop into a very serious problem and can lead to deep infections and in some cases even sepsis and death.
Bed sores are, for the most part, preventable. Once again, most hospitals, including Albany Medical Center, have well established protocols for prevention, care and treatment of bed sores. Much of the time when these wounds develop, it is the result of the failure by a nursing or medical staff member to adequately monitor or treat the patient. Again, there are many methods available to prevent and treat bed sores, including increased rotation and special mattresses, so if they develop and/or progress, it is often the result of negligence on the part of the hospital staff.
Other potential errors
While the above errors are some of the most common in the hospital setting, they are by no means the only errors that happen as a result of negligence.
Other errors can include such things as leaving a warming pad on a patient for too long, causing severe burns; improper administration of medication, leading to severe reactions; failing to adequately administer medication.
Many of the medical providers at Albany Medical Center Hospital are employed by the hospital (versus outside groups who provide services there). As a result, when these physicians or nursing staff members make an error, the hospital may be responsible as well.
There are many different potential types of medical malpractice. In the setting of Albany Med they can include delayed diagnosis of cancer; failure to properly treat a bariatric patient following surgery; delayed treatment of an emergency room patient; or a mistake during surgery. Each of these scenarios may give rise to a legitimate medical malpractice claim.
The bottom line is that if you or a member of your family have been severely hurt as a result of an error at Albany Medical Center hospital, you should strongly consider reaching out to an attorney with experience litigating hospital negligence and medical malpractice cases. You may have recourse against the hospital, but there are critical steps along the way that must be followed.
If you have questions, contact us today.