Did you know that it is not just doctors, surgeons, and hospitals that can be held liable in medical malpractice claims? It is true. A wide variety of medical professionals owe a duty to patients to provide them with reasonably reliable care. This includes emergency medical technicians (EMTs). This makes sense considering who crucial the initial diagnosis and treatment that happens at the ambulatory stage can be. Errors in evaluating and treating a patient at that stage can have devastating, and even life-threatening, consequences.
What EMT Errors May Lead to a Medical Malpractice Claims?
EMTs, along with paramedics, are commonly the first responders at the scene of a medical emergency. Should they be properly trained, these professionals should be able to assess life-threatening medical conditions, as well as provide emergency medical treatments and life-support services at the accident scene. Additionally, EMTs are tasked with preparing patients for transport as well as safely transporting patients to the hospital, providing medical support to the patients until everyone arrives at the hospital or emergency care center.
The importance of EMTs performing their duties with the utmost care cannot really be understated. They can literally hold a person’s life in their hands. This makes it easy to understand the fact that they are held to a legal duty of care to the patients they serve. In most cases, EMTs diligently perform their duties. Sometimes, however, they fall down on the standard of care they are obligated to provide and people needlessly suffer as a result. This is considered malpractice and an EMT can be held legally responsible for paying damages a person sustains as a result of the malpractice.
In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice claim against an EMT, the injured party, the patient, must show that:
- The EMT owed him or her a duty of care. This duty of care is a duty to the patient to act reasonably. Reasonableness of the actions is usually compared to how a reasonable, similarly situated EMT would have acted under comparable circumstances.
- The EMT breached the duty of care owed to the patient because the EMT failed to act in a way that a reasonable, similarly situated EMT would act under comparable circumstances.
- The breach of duty resulted in injury to the patient.
Common breaches of a duty owed to a patient by an EMT, or, in other words, common reasons why a medical malpractice case is brought against an EMT include:
- EMT delayed response to the accident scene
- EMT failed to bring adequate medical equipment to the accident scene
- The ambulance equipment was improperly used
- The EMT failed to properly diagnose the patient
- The EMT failed to follow standard evaluation protocols, like checking the breathing and heartbeat of the patient
- The EMT failed to properly administer medications (either the wrong type or wrong dosage of a medication
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have suffered due to the negligent action or inaction of an EMT at an accident scene, talk to the trusted personal injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy. We will discuss your legal options with you and how we can fight to enforce those legal rights so that you are properly compensated for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.