Doctor errors and other health care mistakes are a significant problem in the United States. According to Forbes, 200,000 people die annually due to medical malpractice, yet its victims who survive often face an uphill battle in seeking recourse. That does not mean that it is impossible or that you should not seek justice, though. In fact, the opposite is true: the more people who come forward, the more change will be made to encourage accountability in health care. If you are courageous enough to speak up, you should be prepared to furnish several pieces of evidence in your claim. These four are particularly important to supporting claims of medical malpractice.
As much trust as we place in our doctors, they are human too. Even in the realm of medicine and treatment, mistakes happen and the consequences can significantly impact a patient's life. Luckily, it is possible to be compensated for medical malpractice if this happens.
Angelina Jolie made big news a few years ago when she announced she had undergone both a prophylactic mastectomy and hysterectomy. Jolie's mother died from breast cancer and as a result, Jolie decided she wanted to know whether she, too, carried the BRCA gene--the gene that indicates a predisposition to both breast and ovarian cancer. When her diagnosis was confirmed, Jolie opted for both surgeries, ensuring that she would not meet the same fate as her mother.
It seems simple. Doctors, nurses and other hospital employees should know who they are treating before they provide treatment. Unfortunately, and with sometimes tragic results, this is not always the case. According to a study released by the ECRI Institute, hospitals make thousands of errors based on patient identification every year.
The recent deaths of Muhammad Ali and Patty Duke have pushed sepsis further into the public conscious. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have declared sepsis a national emergency, stating that more than a quarter-million people die from sepsis every year.
On August 8, 2016, Prince George's Hospital temporarily closed its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after detecting the deadly bacteria pseudomonas. The Maryland hospital determined that three infants had traces of the bacteria. Tragically, two babies recently died in the Prince George's NICU, although no one has found out whether pseudomonas was the cause of their death.
Rehabilitation hospitals provide services for people who are recovering from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes and other debilitating conditions. Patients attend these facilities on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on their specific needs. Rehabilitation hospitals, like every other kind of hospital, must provide proper care for their patients.
When men and women join our armed forces they give up certain rights. For instance, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines cannot sue the government for injuries during training or in combat. This law is known as the Feres doctrine, named after a 1950 Supreme Court case. The court held that active duty members of the military cannot sue the government for injuries "incidental to military service."
In the aftermath of a medical error that causes severe harm to a patient, hospitals typically go to great lengths to avoid admitting fault. Generally speaking, hospitals and their staff will deny acts of negligence, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
After graduating medical school, doctors-in-training go through residencies where they gain hands-on experience helping patients. As part of the residency, it is common for residents to work 16-hour or 24-hour shifts. Once viewed as a rite of passage for residents, many in the medical community have questioned whether these long hours are necessary or healthy.