In times of medical crisis, Oregon residents rely on the skilled help of doctors and nurses in hospitals. In life threatening emergencies, even young children are taught to call 911 so that the person in trouble can be taken to an emergency room. Hospital staff, in particular emergency room doctors, are supposed to be trained to quickly and accurately assess a person's injuries. Once diagnosed, these same staff members are supposed to be able to fix the problem.
Readers of our malpractice blog may be interested to learn that a verdict was recently reached in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a prominent Oregon gynecologist. The federal case, which was the subject of a recent blog post, involves a Medford gynecologist whom faced allegations of hospital staff negligence stemming from a 2007 surgery. During that surgery, the plaintiff had a healthy ovary mistakenly removed and a piece of plastic was left in her body when a da Vinci robotic device malfunctioned.
Veterans, just like all Oregonians, are susceptible to medical mistakes. A recent nationwide investigation has taken a close look at malpractice at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and the resulting settlements. The numbers and amount of settlements are surprising to many. According to government databases, malpractice claims against the VA were up nearly 30% in 2012 when compared to 2011. Since 2003, the VA has lost or settled over 4,000 cases. The payout and associated taxpayer cost on these cases totals more than $844 million. Around 20% of malpractice claims result in a payout in the private health care sector. The VA pays out around 25% of claims, and those payments have been increasing in recent years. The number of payments in 2012 was the second highest in the past decade.
Readers of our Eugene medical malpractice law blog may be interested to learn of a civil trial currently underway against a prominent gynecologist. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in district court by a Montana woman. She claims the gynecologist was grossly negligent when he botched a 2007 robotic surgery.
Readers of our Oregon medical malpractice blog are likely aware of a new law enacted earlier this year allowing parties to malpractice claims to settle through mediation before filing suit. The new law, which is set to go into effect in 2014, has been hailed by many as significant tort reform. However, a national group has recently raised concerns over the new law regarding its potential to protect negligent doctors.
Taking prescription medication is a daily occurrence for many Oregonians. Whether picking up medication from a pharmacy or getting it directly from a doctor or hospital, most people never question the accuracy of the dosage or type of medication they are being given. The unfortunate truth is that medication errors happen on a regular basis. A large part of this problem involves hospital staff negligence and administration errors.
Medical malpractice can cause serious and irreparable harm to Oregon patients. For this reason, it may come as a surprise to learn that thousands of doctors responsible for hospital staff negligence still have their licenses to practice medicine. Despite fatal errors and medical malpractice lawsuits, these physicians have gone unpunished by state medical boards.
In a story that our Eugene medical malpractice blog continues to follow, the family of a girl severely burned at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital has filed a formal notice of intent to sue the medical facility. Readers of our blog may recall the events leading up to the fire caused by hand sanitizer. The young girl had been admitted to the hospital after passing out at school. She suffered second- and third-degree burns in the fire after being admitted to the hospital.
In one of the largest medical malpractice settlements in the state's history, the University of Washington has been ordered by a judge to pay $15 million to settle a young girl's malpractice suit. The 8-year-old young girl suffered permanent brain damage as a result of hospital staff negligence.
When people go to the doctor or to the hospital, they expect to receive the best care available. Under Oregon law, people should be able to expect that doctors, nurses and all hospital staff will stand-up to a reasonable standard of care. If this standard is met then there should be no hospital staff negligence.