Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) May 15, 2013 – The possibility of medical malpractice is a patient’s nightmare; a nightmare that often comes true.
“I recently read a case where a man had gone to hospital to have his gallbladder removed; certainly a fairly routine operation. However, the results of the operation were anything ‘but’ routine. The man spent six months in intensive care fighting blood poisoning and multiple organ failure. What had happened? His surgeon severed his bile duct,” said Christopher Mellino, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer.
Spending six months in intensive care was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of adverse medical outcomes. The man also needed eight further surgeries, lost his job, and ended up having to wear a surgical corset permanently, as the muscles in his stomach had wasted away.
“While this is a horrific tale, it seems to be the rule these days, rather than the exception. Cases like this are far from isolated incidents. In fact, according to a study published in Health Affairs, adverse events happen in close to one-third of all patient admissions. A further report also revealed that approximately 44 percent of these kinds of events were preventable. That is scary stuff,” Mellino added.
Anyone who follows the news will also recall that in February 2013, seven hospitals in California were fined over $775,000 for committing preventable medical mistakes; mistakes that included wrong patient surgery, delayed emergency treatment, failing to monitor a patient’s breathing after administration of a drug and leaving foreign objects in a patient’s body. “The results of these errors? Medical malpractice victims with serious issues acquired thanks to a doctor messing up,” Mellino pointed out.
Shockingly, it is not just the financial, psychological and physical toll on patients that is a serious issue. Preventable medical mistakes cost the health care system at least $19.5 billion a year. However, if the further costs of loss of human potential and productivity are factored into the system losses, the cost of medical malpractice jumps to close to $1 trillion a year. For those that think preventable medical errors should be excused by making the patient carry a higher burden of proof to make a viable lawsuit, it is time that someone looked in the mirror —- and the someone would be the politicians and insurers who think medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous.
Mellino Robenalt LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901