When individuals are admitted to the hospital for injuries that require surgery, the standard protocol at most hospitals is for the individual to have “nothing by mouth” for a specified period of time prior to the surgery. This means that the individual is to abstain from both solids and liquids as a part of surgical preparation. If the individual does ingest food, water, or other liquids during the time period when solids and liquids are restricted, the surgical procedure may have to be delayed. This is sometimes referred to as a diet error. A diet error may occur because the individual failed to follow the doctor’s instructions or a diet error may occur due to hospital staff’s negligence. If a diet error occurs due to hospital staff’s negligence, the surgery has to be delayed, and the individual suffers further injury as a result of the delayed surgical procedure, the individual may be the victim of medical malpractice. Those responsible for the diet error may be held accountable in a court of law for their act of negligence (medical malpractice) and the resulting injury to the patient.
A diet error may seem innocuous, but these types of errors can in fact be devastating the to the health and well–being of an individual. For example, if an individual preparing for surgery to repair a skull fracture is given food and drink by the nursing staff during the period of time when solids and liquids are prohibited, the surgery will have to be delayed. Because of the delay, the individual could suffer permanent brain damage. The delay in surgery can be attributed to a diet error. Because of the delay the individual suffered further serious injury. The nursing staff was negligent in their duties by providing the individual with solids and liquids, and this negligence can be defined as medical malpractice. The diet error and the victim’s additional injury occurred due to medical malpractice. The individual may now be confronted with physical and mental disabilities that may affect their ability to work and financially provide for their family.
Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries if evidence can be provided to show that the proximate cause of their injuries is negligence on the part of their health care provider.
A diet error is a form of negligence as it is the duty of hospital and nursing staff to be aware of the doctor’s orders regarding each patient with whom they come into contact. Victims of diet error are advised to contact a medical malpractice attorney to have their case reviewed to determine if enough evidence exists to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.