We place ourselves in our doctor’s care, putting our full trust in them. Maybe we don’t think of the risks that come with medical malpractice, specifically the risk of death.
Unfortunately, medical error deaths are more common than we think. Medical errors account for around 251,000 deaths every year. This puts patients and their families in a difficult position. Of course, no one wants to endure physical problems if there’s a treatment or operation as an option. However, death is no result that anyone wants to endure.
Here are examples of medical mistake deaths and what to do if you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice.
Wrong-Side Brain Operation
In 2007, surgeons at a Rhode Island hospital operated on the wrong side of the brain not once, or twice, but three times in one year! Unfortunately, one man did die as a result of operating on the wrong side of the brain and the medical conditions that followed.
Fortunately, not every experience resulted in the patients’ deaths. One patient had to get an operation to stop a blood clot. They realized they were operating on the wrong part of the brain during the procedure, then proceeded to remove the clot. The patient was okay.
However, these errors resulted in a $50,000 fine and a censure from the State Department of Health.
So, how can one hospital operate on the wrong side of the brain multiple times in one year? The company that runs the hospital declined an interview, but they did say they would strengthen their oversight procedures.
Anesthetic Awareness Leads to Suicide
Does the idea of being conscious during a major operation terrify you? That’s what happened to one man, and his experience lead to his suicide.
In 2007, Sherman Sizemore was a victim of anesthesia awareness. He had an operation due to stomach pains. Unfortunately, he wasn’t adequately anesthetized due to human errors. He said he was awake during the procedure and felt pain, but wasn’t able to talk, cry, or even move. Sizemore described the experience as being “buried alive.”
Suicidal thoughts as a result are common after anesthetic awareness. Unfortunately, only two weeks after the operation, Sizemore took his own life.
What to Do During Medical Mistake Deaths
Unfortunately, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America. If a loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, you have rights.
First, rest assured there is more legislation passing to protect patients. For example, industry leaders are appealing to the CDC to change the way they collect data from death certificates.
Until more protections pass for patients, you can always hire a medical lawyer to prove there were errors in your loved ones’ treatment that resulted in their death. From there, you can take the surgeon and medical facility to court.
Medical Error Is a Real Thing
Medical mistake deaths seem impossible. Unfortunately, they’re more common than you think. Always stay vigilant if you or a loved one need a major operation and know when to hire a lawyer.
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