South Carolina medical patients should know that doctors who act unprofessionally may not be penalized. Between 2001 and 2011, almost 6,000 physicians were placed on restriction at medical facilities for incidents related to patient well-being. However, more than 3,000 of those individuals received no sanctions against their license and were not even fined, despite having their clinical privileges revoked. Of these individuals, 234 of them were deemed to be an immediate threat to patients.
Medical consumers in South Carolina will be concerned to learn that, according to Institute for Safe Medication Practices, many hospitals don't have policies in place regarding the safe use of syringes. Reusing contaminated syringes is one of the major causes of the spread of Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV in medical environments. This hospital negligence is a form of medical malpractice that can gravely harm patients.
Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill has settled a malpractice case with a victim's family for $2.2 million. The victim in the case died due to surgical complications during a pacemaker implantation. This comes shortly after the hospital settled a separate malpractice case in March for $2.3 million. A spokeswoman for the hospital said that the medial malpractice case was uncommon for her hospital, which BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina recently recognized for its cardiac care.
In an annual ranking of disciplinary actions taken by state medical boards against doctors compiled by the advocacy group Public Citizen, the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners has been ranked in one of the bottom two spots for the past 8 years. The state's position began to fall in the Public Citizen rankings starting in 2001, when it was ranked no. 47, after being in the top 20 for much of the 1990s.