Burns Caused By Medical Malpractice: What You Need To Know

Burn Injuries

Patients trust their physicians to provide them with the best of care. Unfortunately, this does not always occur. Patients may experience medical malpractice in an array of forms. One such way a patient may become a victim of medical malpractice is when the treating physician inadvertently burns the patient.

One way a patient may receive such a burn is through electric stimulation, which is typically utilized in physical therapy. This electric stimulation is used by physical therapists in order to relieve a patient’s musculo-skeletal pain, as well as muscle spasms a patient may be experiencing. When physical therapists use such treatment on their patients, it is of the utmost importance that the therapists do not turn the machine on too high while shocking the patient. If a patient is exposed to too high of a shock, they may very well suffer from a burn.

Another way a patient may receive a burn while under a physician’s care is via physician use of a hypothermia blanket. When a patient undergoes a surgical procedure it is not uncommon for the treating physician to use a hypothermia blanket to regulate the patient’s body temperature. While clearly beneficial, these blankets can cause severe injury to the patient when used with proper care and caution. In one case, in which all parties ultimately settled, the 58-year old plaintiff, who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery, suffered from 3rd degree burns on his posterior thighs, calves, legs, buttocks, as well as back and right posterior arm. The patient had a medical history that consisted of hypertension, brittle diabetes, coronary artery disease, renal failure, dialysis, and alcoholism. After the procedure, the patient remained in the hospital for an additional eight months. He went through numerous procedures to treat his burns, including three skin graft procedures. Ultimately, the patient died four years later from heart failure.

Yet another, albeit unique way, a patient may become a burn victim at the hands of a physician is through laser eye surgery. The most common way a patient becomes a burn victim due to laser eye surgery is by the physician improperly deeming the patient an appropriate candidate for such a procedure. Physicians whom perform laser eye surgery are not supposed to perform this procedure on patients who are under 21 years of age, pregnant, if the patient has an unstable correction, or if the patient suffers from a degenerative or autoimmune disease.

Patients that are victims of such burning are in very serious danger. Patients have an increased likelihood of suffering from infection, scarring, ongoing pain and suffering, permanent nerve damage, and skin graft rejections. Patients may have cause for medical malpractice against a physician for an ensuing burn when the treating physician fails to monitor infection risks, fails to take precautions for severe scarring, fails to manage patients’ pain, or when physician is performing dangerous, or, alternatively, poorly-executed skin grafts.