Medical Malpractice Law ~ Top Cases + Test + Flashcards = 96 Slides
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This is a complete presentation on the top cases in medical malpractice law. It is highly visual and thoroughly annotated. There are 40 Flash Cards and 20 multiple choice test questions also included in this product.
~ Far from being a “get rich quick” scheme, medical malpractice is a legal battle as hard on the victim as the malpractice itself.
~ About five percent of American doctors are responsible for more than half of settlements and verdicts which insurance companies pay.
~ Thus, the biggest point this presentation makes is that the patient should fully research his doctor and hospital online to ascertain if he or she has had any of these problems occur already.
~ The online world is filled with news stories and rating services on doctors and hospitals. Just input the doctor’s name and city into Google and read the immediate hits returned.
~ There are more discouraging statistics.
~ Only one in six victims files a malpractice suit.
~ Half of those one in six will give up before getting to trial.
~ If the patient lives in a state with mandated caps on awards for pain and suffering, the patient will never be fully compensated.
~ A majority of these cases are settled and part of the settlement is that the terms must be kept confidential. Thus, other victims have no opportunity to learn from their sagas.
EXCERPT: ANESTHESIA AWARENESS
~ Carol Weihrer had undergone 17 surgeries to try to fix a severely scratched cornea in her right eye.
~ Her pain with the eye continued so her 18th surgery was to remove the eye.
~ During her surgery, she woke up. She heard disco music and thought she was in recovery.
~ Then she heard someone say,"Cut deeper. Pull harder.”
~ She realized she was undergoing surgery and was terrified.
~ She felt no pain because of the separate pain blockers which had been administered to her.
~ "I can remember praying to God, screaming, but no sound came out," she said.
~ Weihrer's vocal muscles had been paralyzed by the anesthesia.
~ One of the injuries she sustained was that she could no longer sleep lying down and even then could only sleep a few hours at a time.
~ She also sustained Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is the most common injury from anesthesia awareness, waking up from anesthesia during surgery.
~ Weihrer sued her anesthesiologist for malpractice and the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
EXCERPT: LEFT BEHIND OBJECT
~ University of Washington Medical Center surgeons negligently left a 13-inch surgical instrument inside Donald Church's body after an operation to remove a large malignant tumor
~Church, 49, was in terrible pain post-surgery pain. It hurt when he walked, when he bent over, when he tried to go to the bathroom.
~ He stayed in this pain for two months while his surgeons assured him that it was just part of his recovery.
~ UW Medical Center paid Church, $97,000 in a settlement for his painful experience.
~ Church did not suffer permanent damage but is very angry, saying,"We're not talking about leaving a wrench on somebody's car engine. We're talking about top surgeons at a major hospital doing this; this is somebody's life.”
~ Dr. David Byrd, his surgeon, left the malleable retractor inside Church. It is a thin, 2-inch-wide, ruler-sized metal device which is placed temporarily beneath the wound being closed. While the surgeon is suturing the patient with a long needle, the retractor protects the underlying organs from the needle.
~ It is meant to be held partly out of the opening while the suturing is ongoing. No one knows how or when it slipped into Church’s body during this end procedure.
~ But the hospital has a “record” of this kind of mistake. It settled four other “left behind object” cases in the last ten years.
~ Standard operating-room procedure prior to the Church case did not include counting surgical instruments after surgery to account for all of them.
~ UW has changed that policy so that now surgical instruments, surgical sponges and suturing needles are all counted at the conclusion of surgery. If they come up short, it is assumed to be inside the patient.