Failure to Transfer Patient Florida Medical Malpractice

September 13, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Failure to Transfer Patient Florida Medical Malpractice

Failure to Transfer Patients to Appropriate Facilities

The act of seeking treatment is not as simple as going to your doctor and submitting yourself to examination for a prognosis. As we all know, there are often several stops to different specialists, testing facilities/labs, and treatment centers when it comes to treating a serious health issue. When a patient is in dire need of treatment from a specific facility and they are not transferred in a timely and efficient fashion then they can suffer injury and complications with their condition from the delay. Often times this delay can be because of a health care provider's negligence. Sometimes a doctor will not deem it necessary to transfer a patient to a better-qualified facility for their needs. If a healthcare provider's negligence in transferring a patient results in injury to the patient then they may be liable in a medical malpractice claim.

Patient Transfer Delay Caused by Doctor Negligence

In the event that a patient is not transferred to a facility that's essential for treatment, then they can sustain severe injury and complication from the delay. Certain hospitals and specialist labs may have unique equipment that is necessary for treatment. Sometimes a patient of a less equipped clinic or hospital may require a transfer to a larger facility with more resources. The bottom line is that the transfer process can often be essential but sometimes things do not go as planned. As with other forms of medical malpractice, healthcare providers can be negligent and cause a delay of transfer, wrong transfers, or outright not transfer patients to healthcare facilities that they may need for their treatment. This can occur for a variety of reasons.

Failure to Transfer a Patient Resulted in a $23 Million Dollar Lawsuit

One notable example of failure to transfer a patient resulting in severe injury is a case where a pregnant mother was not transferred to a facility with the specialized equipment required for the birth of her child. The mother's obstetrician took tests that revealed that the mother had high blood pressure with protein in her urine which was indicative of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a complicated condition that requires the preterm birth of a baby. The obstetrician failed to refer the pregnant woman to a hospital with the required facilities and expertise to accommodate the specific birth conditions brought on by the preeclampsia. The obstetrician instead referred the woman to a hospital unqualified for the specific birth conditions and as a result, the baby suffered injuries in the form of an injury known as cystic periventricular leukomalacia, which is a brain issue that will lead to a lifetime of complications. The mother filed a medical malpractice claim which proved the doctor's negligence and resulted in the mother and child receiving $23 million in damages. It may seem like an enormous amount of money but if one takes into account that the child will be experiencing complications for the rest of their life resulting in extensive medical expenses along with pain and suffering.

Failure to Transfer a Patient due to Misdiagnosis

Healthcare providers may sometimes be negligent when it comes to transferring patients to other facilities because they may have misdiagnosed the patient they were treating. Misdiagnosis is a startlingly common problem within healthcare that ranks among the top types of medical errors that harm patients. Doctors can misdiagnose patients because they confuse symptoms, they misinterpret information about the patient, they might not be fit to practice medicine, the list can go on. A misdiagnosis of a patient's condition can consist of having their disease classified incorrectly, having their condition mistaken for another, or having an aspect of their condition undetected and not diagnosed at all. Anyone of these things can lead to a doctor not sending a patient to a facility that they may need as part of their treatment.

Consequences of Failing to Transfer a Patient

If one patient awaiting a transfer to a facility with the equipment they need for treatment is delayed because of an avoidable error, then that delay can result in possible complication with whatever they are seeking treatment for. It is important to remember that errors caused by unforeseeable events cannot be considered malpractice. It is only considered negligence if the damage done by the healthcare provider's decisions would be considered avoidable. So you cannot sue for failure to transfer a patient if a delay is caused by an act of god like a hurricane. However, you can sue a doctor if they failed to send you to another facility because they misinterpreted your test results or if a hospital refused to transfer a patient to another facility despite them not being able to accommodate a patient properly.

Suing Due to Failure to Transfer

In the event that a patient suffers an injury because a health care provider failed to transfer them or transferred them to the wrong facility, then they can pursue a medical malpractice claim against the responsible parties. These parties can consist of anyone from the attending physician to the actual hospital. As long as it can be proven that that party's negligence resulted in an injury that otherwise would have been avoidable, then they can be held accountable in a medical malpractice claim. A plaintiff can recover compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and lost earning potential to name few.

Seek an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured because of the neglect of a health care provider, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the settlement that you deserve. Allow Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to assist you in holding those liable for your injuries responsible while you recuperate. For a free consultation on your claim you can contact us online or call (727) 451-6900 Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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