When we read news stories about medical mistakes, surgical errors or negligent behavior on the part of a healthcare provider, it is often in the context of a very specific incident. One person may have been the victim of a surgical error or a doctor may have routinely neglected to conduct adequate examinations.
Most residents of South Carolina have probably seen a medical professional at some point in their lives, and every one of those people knows that when receiving medical care, there is a certain amount of trust that has to be placed in the judgment or decisions of a chosen medical professional. After all, medicine and health can be complex topics and there is a reason that we are willing to pay the often high cost that medical professionals charge.
A recent study has revealed over 100,000 medical have problems with prescription drug abuse. The problem with any doctor, nurse, pharmacist or technician abusing such medications is quite obviously that it can lead to patient injury or medical malpractice.
South Carolina residents may be surprised to learn how frequently doctors make mistakes when diagnosing their patients' symptoms. A survey published on April 16 in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety reports that up to 12 million Americans, which equates to more than one in 20 adults, are misdiagnosed each year. The study was conducted by a Houston-based veterans affairs center that compiled research from several sources, including medical malpractice claims.
South Carolina parents may be interested in the outcome of an incident involving a young girl who was reportedly over-medicated at a dentist's office. The girl passed away on Jan. 3 at Hospice Hawaii, one month after she went to a pediatric dentist for six cavity fillings and four root canals on Dec. 3.
Surgeries in South Carolina, while remaining safe in many cases, carry a significant risk, even for procedures that are commonplace. A patient might have a problem with the anesthesia, or a tiny nick from the surgeon's scalpel could endanger the patient's life. Every patient has a unique combination of factors that can negatively influence a surgery. Doctor errors, negligence and mistakes can also cause permanent disability or death.
South Carolina patients will be interested to know that a recent report revealed that many medical errors have gone unreported by doctors who are aware of another doctor's medical malpractice. Despite the code of ethics that mandates medical error disclosure, many patients have been released from hospitals without being informed about their impending health danger.
It is estimated that more than 440,000 people die each year in hospitals as a result of preventable errors on the part of doctors and hospital staff. Whether this is due to medical malpractice or negligence, avoidable mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the Untied States, only surpassed by cancer and heart disease. Part of the reason for the frequency of mistakes is likely due to the fact that doctors are sometimes more likely to hide an error that they see than report it, even if they were not the one who erred.
A South Carolina orthopedic surgeon, whose whistle-blowing led to a federal lawsuit against a healthcare provider, was himself censured by a jury recently. The doctor was found liable in a medical malpractice case arising from a 2010 operation he performed on a patient's knee.
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.