A tragic medical malpractice case was recently completed, and though it didn't happen here in Arizona, it still highlights some important factors about medical care and medical malpractice lawsuits. In 2009, a 64-year-old woman went in for surgery to have an ovarian cyst removed. During the course of the procedure, the woman's bowel was pierced.
Imagine that you go in to the doctor, and this trusted medical professional tells you that you are suffering from a serious medical condition. You only have a few years to live, at best. After many more tests and months of therapy, it turns out that the diagnosis was incorrect.
A new study performer by Harvard researchers found an unsettling number of drug medication errors during surgery. According to the study which looked at 277 surgeries, 124 of them involved some type of drug medication error. These errors range from incorrect drug used, to an incorrect dosage of the drug, to improperly documenting what drug was used and many others in between.
Patient safety during surgery is paramount in Arizona hospitals. This is why there are established protocols for preparing surgical instruments, sanitizing the room and avoiding infections, as well as team meetings to deal with unexpected developments during the procedure.
If you ever wonder why cleanliness is so important in a hospital setting, it is because of how prevalent viruses and bacteria are, and how vulnerable patients can be to infections. Indeed, there are many precautions taken to stem the spread of germs. Doctors, nurses and hospital staff wash their hands regularly. Temperatures are kept low, instruments are cleaned quickly after use and surfaces are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
Many people like to have music on in the background while they are working. Medical professionals are no exception to this. Music can end up showing up in many places in hospitals. In fact, there is often music playing in operating rooms during surgeries.
Medical malpractice seems so cut-and-dried to the person who has been victimized by the medical error, or surgical error, or medication error. Even to an objective observer, medical malpractice usually feels like something that is clearly the fault of the medical professional or medical institution in question. However, there are many wrinkles in the system, and there are many ways that a doctor or hospital could defend the medical malpractice claim against them.
Medicine is one of the most complex and dynamic industries in the world. Every day, things change and more is learned about how to diagnose, manage or treat different conditions. It is up to the doctors, nurses and hospital administrators to stay abreast of these changes and continue learning without losing their commitment to the basic fundamentals and skills that are critical to their job.