Unsterile Conditions May Constitute a Malpractice Claim

Birth Injury

Whether a doctor is performing an invasive surgical procedure or simply giving someone a checkup, maintaining clean and sterile conditions is crucial. If you suffered harm because a doctor failed to sterilize medical implements or keep a treatment area clean, you are not out of luck in legal terms just because there was no overt misdiagnosis or medical mistake made. Contrary to what some people may think, unsterile conditions may constitute grounds for a malpractice claim in the State of New York.

How Do Unclean Conditions Constitute Malpractice?

The basic premise of any medical malpractice case is that a medical professional was negligent in their care for a patient. In order to prove legal negligence by a healthcare professional, an injured patient must prove all the following criteria:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed between the defendant doctor and the plaintiff filing suit, meaning that the plaintiff financially solicited the doctor’s services and the doctor agreed to provide them
  • The defendant doctor did something that another doctor with the same skillset would not have reasonably done in the same or similar circumstances
  • As a direct result of their unreasonable or careless actions, the defendant doctor caused the plaintiff to suffer avoidable harm
  • The harm the plaintiff suffered caused damages that could be compensable through civil litigation

Often, malpractice claims are based on something the doctor did wrong, known as an error of commission. Diagnosing someone with the wrong condition, providing the incorrect medication, or recklessly causing injury during a surgical procedure would all qualify as this kind of error and potentially give rise to a malpractice case.

However, New York state law also allows malpractice claims to be brought based on something a doctor reasonably should have done but failed to do—an error of omission. Just like failure to diagnose a condition or failure to provide appropriate follow-up care, failure to maintain sterile conditions could constitute an actionable error of omission by a medical professional.

The reasonable standard of care for healthcare providers requires them to sanitize treatment rooms and ensure all medical tools and implements are sterilized or discarded after use, rather than used on multiple patients in succession. Failure to do this may create an unreasonable risk of infection or cross-contamination, just like how failure to diagnose a condition correctly could lead to a patient suffering harm because they did not get the treatment they needed.

Consult an Attorney About an Unsterile Conditions Malpractice Suit

If you suffered harm from any form of negligence committed by a healthcare provider, you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit. That includes harm stemming from unsanitary tools, exam rooms, or treatment areas. Call today to speak with a seasoned birth injury lawyer about what may be possible in your situation.