When an individual is sick or elderly, he or she will likely depend on medications to help moderate physical or mental conditions. In this regard, prescribing the wrong medication could mean serious injury or possibly death for the patient.
When most of us think of medical malpractice claims, we see the defendant as a doctor or hospital, or perhaps another other medical professional or facility that treated the patient. However, there are other types of common medical malpractice cases. Medication errors, which can cause everything from mild discomfort to death, are often the subject of medical malpractice lawsuits.
South Carolina residents may be interested in knowing about the recent case of a 24-year-old woman who died after an attempted abortion given at a Chicago Planned Parenthood clinic. The late-term abortion was performed in a clinic was supposed to offer only limited services. A news report of the incident did not detail the nature of the woman's injuries. She reportedly received improper care at the clinic and was finally transferred to a hospital, but Planned Parenthood staff members reportedly did not give the hospital sufficient information to treat her. The woman died while in the hospital.
The use of surgical robots in South Carolina hospitals has increased over the years as doctors have discovered that the devices allow them to be more precise and make fewer incisions than with conventional surgical procedures. The publication of a study linking malfunctions of the devices to surgical errors has raised concerns about the safety of robotic surgery.
South Carolina patients undergoing surgery may be interested in a recent urgent medical device recall issued by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic surgery system. Reportedly, the da Vinci's instrument arms can stall briefly due to friction within the arm. The machine can then move quickly in an effort to correct its position when resistance is overcome. The recall covers nearly 1,400 units around the world.
Patients and physicians in South Carolina might take a lesson from a case involving misdiagnosis of death and an aborted organ removal. In 2009, a woman woke on the operating table in another state just prior to an organ donation. The woman had been diagnosed with irreversible brain damage and taken off life support with the consent of her family. They also provided consent for the organ harvest procedure. According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report later brought to light, the woman "did not have irreversible brain damage [and] did not meet criteria for withdrawal of care."