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.
In a study with implications for doctors and patients in South Carolina, data collected on nearly 2 million hospital admissions conducted by the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg found that those who left a medical facility too soon more than doubled the risk of complications or death. Just over one percent of patients left before they were given permission to do so by their doctors; those patients were 2.5 times more likely to die within 90 days and were also readmitted at three times the standard rate in the 30 days after they left.
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.
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."
A study of gall bladder surgeries at a large hospital in a major U.S. city performed over an 8-month stretch identified 22 patients with a total of 35 complications. Eighteen of the 22 were undergoing emergency surgery. More than 90 percent of night-time procedures were emergencies. Surgeries after 7 p.m. and those on older male patients were linked to increased risk of complications.
As some South Carolina readers may be aware, robotic surgery has been steadily growing in popularity. As the number of robotic surgeries increases, so does the potential for surgical errors, according to some critics. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of problems with several different types of robotic surgeries, including cuts, infections and burns. There have been 89 deaths reported since 2007.
Adoptive parents are suing a university, a hospital system and the state over their child's sex-assignment surgery. The suit alleges that the surgery was medically unnecessary. It also claims that the hospital system was negligent by not properly informing the state officials in charge of the child at the time of the risks and consequences of the surgery.
A 76-year-old man who went into a well-known hospital to have a kidney removed came out of the surgery with one less body part; however, it was the wrong one. Although it is not clear what happened in the surgery, what is clear is that a physician took the wrong kidney out of the man. Medical errors can occur anywhere, including South Carolina.