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.
South Carolina residents may be interested to hear about information that suggests that bullying between doctors and co-workers may pose safety risks for patients. In a survey of over 4,500 health care workers, 77 percent reported disruptive behaviors among doctors and 65 percent reported disruptive behaviors among nurses. Nearly one-third of those same workers said that such behaviors contributed to patient deaths, and more than two-thirds said that they led to medical errors. In one case, a perfusionist claimed that a cardiac surgeon clenching his fists and yelling at him menacingly made him feel threatened and traumatized him. A perfusionist is the person who operates the heart/lung machine during an open-heart surgery, so having his or her focus is extremely important in an operation. The Indiana Supreme Court later upheld a $325,000 settlement for the traumatized perfusionist. The tension between doctors and employees can potentially lead to more medical errors, which can, consequently, lead to more medical malpractice lawsuits.