Life in the 21st century is more complicated than ever before because science, technology, medicine, and other aspects of society are evolving so rapidly. As a result, we hire professionals to help us navigate specialized areas of our lives and to obtain services that we are often incapable of providing for ourselves.
For example, a lawyer may be needed to prepare a will or handle litigation. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) can be called on to assist with taxes and complicated financial documents. Physicians treat medical issues, and information technology (IT) specialists may be needed for a whole host of computer-related issues.
Importantly, when we turn to professionals, we are generally operating outside of our own zone of knowledge and therefore rely upon them to act professionally, skillfully, and in our best interest. Unfortunately, professionals sometimes cause harm by failing to meet the standard of care the law requires of them. In this article, we will discuss some allegations of rather shocking medical malpractice.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a treating physician or other medical care provider fails to meet the applicable standard of care and causes harm to the patient. Some cases involve complicated circumstances that make it harder to determine if a doctor acted reasonably. However, there are some cases in which the malpractice is easily identifiable, even to those that do not have medical training. Below, we will provide some examples of obvious malpractice.
Shocking Examples of Alleged Medical Malpractice
- Wrong-sided brain surgery: In Rhode Island, a hospital was fined in 2007 after brain surgery was started on the wrong side of the head of an 82-year-old patient. The hospital was fined and reprimanded because it was the third time it had happened that year. Two of the patients reportedly were fine, but one patient died a few weeks after the surgery.
- Removing the wrong leg: In Florida, a surgery was intended to remove a diabetic man’s right leg below the knee. Unfortunately, the surgeon mistakenly amputated the left leg. According to an AP report, the patient consent form identified the correct leg, but the wrong information appeared in a surgery report and on a blackboard listing the day’s surgeries.
- Deadly transplant: Surgeons in a case at Duke University Hospital transplanted donated organs into 17-year-old Jesica Santillan. Unfortunately, the young girl’s blood type did not match the transplanted organs. After doctors learned of the mistake, they performed a second transplant in an attempt to save Jesica. Unfortunately, she passed away.
- Forgotten forceps: According to news reports, a woman named Mary Harber had surgery on April 19, 2017, in California to remove a benign tumor. She was discharged from the hospital. Then, on May 1, 2017, she went to the emergency room at a different facility due to pain in her back, abdomen, and kidney. She alleges that the emergency room physicians found 8-inch forceps that had been left in her abdomen from the previous surgery.
Call with Questions
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury due to the medical malpractice of a doctor or other health care provider, you will undoubtedly have questions about your rights and how to best proceed. Please call us for a free consultation.
Remember, while in some cases medical negligence is easy to spot, in many instances a thorough investigation and input from expert witnesses are required to find the truth. At Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys have the knowledge and expertise necessary to answer your questions and assist you if you need help. We have handled claims successfully all across Oregon. We take pleasure in helping injured victims because we know that the only way to make society safer is by holding wrongdoers accountable for their behavior.