Medical Errors Continue to Affect Patient Safety

Medical Errors Continue to Affect Patient Safety

While safety advocates strive to improve conditions at hospitals, and reduce the incidence of medical malpractice, including preventable medical mistakes, errors continue to occur.  Over the last year, this included several high-profile matters. 

The largest recorded medical malpractice verdict. 

A jury awarded a $229 million jury verdict to a mother at the conclusion of a medical malpractice birth injury trial.  The jury determined that hospital staff acted negligently during the labor and delivery process by failing to provide accurate information concerning the health of her unborn child. Medical malpractice lawsuits may be based on the actions (or inaction) of a doctor, nurse, midwife, or other hospital staff in caring for patients.  They may also be brought against the hospital itself. In this instance, the evidence presented showed that based on receiving the incorrect information from hospital staff and doctors, the mother opted to have a natural delivery rather than a Cesarean section.  Over the course of the 22-hour labor, the child’s brain was deprived of oxygen, and was born with severe brain damage.  He now suffers from cerebral palsy, requiring skilled nursing care for the majority of the day.

$5.1M settlement in surgical error case

Surgical errors are one of the leading forms of medical malpractice.  Surgical medical malpractice may include wrong site surgeries or mistakes made during the procedure.  Anesthesia errors may also be included.  In one instance, a famous baseball player under spinal decompression surgery.  The doctor performing his surgery was also performing surgery on another patient at the same time.  A few days after being released from surgery, spinal fluid began leaking from the surgery site, and the patient developed a life-threatening infection.  Due to these complications, the player was forced to retire.  He settled out of court, and the hospital asserted that the doctor operating on two people at one did not impact the quality of care provided. 

Psychiatrist sued for medical malpractice based on sexual exploitation

It is important to recognize that while the majority of medical malpractice suits are based on failures in providing medical treatment for physical conditions, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals may be held responsible for medical negligence.  In one prominent lawsuit, four women sued a famous psychiatrist for medical malpractice based on sexual exploitation asserting that he committed psychiatric malpractice by inappropriately prescribing certain drugs and having sexual relationships with the women while still being his under his care.

Despite wide-spread awareness concerning the prevalence of medical malpractice, mistakes, errors and reckless conduct continues to harm our nation’s patients.

For more information or if you believe you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, please contact the dedicated California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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