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Failure to Monitor Vital Signs | Slips and Falls | Post-Surgical Infections | Dehydration and Malnutrition

Monitoring patients is a vital aspect of medical practice, which is why a failure to monitor can result in serious injury or death.

What Types of Conditions Must Physicians and Medical Staff Monitor?

Patients must be monitored for allergic reactions to treatment and monitored to ensure they are not experiencing dangerous side effects from medication. The treatment may not help the patient at all, in which case another type of treatment may be necessary. In particular, when treating serious medical conditions, changing an ineffective treatment could mean the difference between recovery and personal injury or fatality. Monitoring a patient can also reveal that another medical condition exists, which also requires treatment.

Specific Types of Patient Monitoring

The focus of medical monitoring varies depending on the patient’s specific ailments. Doctors use the following types of monitoring for patients:

  • Monitoring for infection. After surgery, doctors often monitor for infection. Developing infections while hospitalized is all too common. However, with close monitoring, practitioners will notice a spike in temperature, or notice that the patient is having difficulty breathing and observe other warning signs so they can treat the infection. Every few hours a nurse will check the patient’s temperature and vital signs and alert a physician if vital signs are abnormally high or low.
  • Cardiac monitoring. Cardiac monitoring is crucial during and after most operations. Nurses frequently check the patient’s blood pressure and many patients are hooked up to heart monitors.
  • Respiratory monitoring. Checking the patient’s oxygen levels can reveal whether enough oxygen is getting to the brain and heart. It may be necessary to elevate the patient for easier breathing, connect the patient through cannulas or an oxygen mask to an oxygen tank or in severe breathing cases, connect them to a CPAP machine.
  • Glucose monitoring. Serious complications can arise when a patient’s glucose levels drop too low or go too high. During pregnancy, glucose levels are often monitored closely and doctors do not let mothers with gestation diabetes go past their due dates for delivery.

Complications that Arise from a Failure to Monitor

Patients can develop blood clots, infections, glucose intolerance, heart failure, bedsores and internal bleeding. These are conditions, which physicians can treat when the patient is monitored and the conditions are detected. Proper medical attention ensures that patients are eating and drinking enough fluids. When patients become dehydrated or malnourished, it can lead to other complications. Failure to monitor, detect and follow up with proper treatment is a form of medical negligence.

Find Out How Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help

Decades of experience and access to medical experts have enabled our attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP to successfully handle medical malpractice cases. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered injury due to a medical practitioner’s failure to monitor, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case. A medical malpractice case requires showing that a doctor-patient relationship existed and that the medical staff’s negligence resulted in your injury.

Call us toll free at 888.519.6400, or contact us in Garden City at 516.248.2234, or in Flushing-Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx at 718.539.3100. You can also fill in our contact form, and we will get in touch with you.

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