An Oregon woman died after a hospital administered the wrong drug to her following brain surgery. She had gone to the hospital with a question about her dosage, and a doctor prescribed an anti-seizure medication. However, instead she was given a paralyzing agent that caused her to have a cardiac arrest and fall into a coma.
Medicine is not an exact science. There are risks that go along with any procedure and not all treatments can be guaranteed to deliver the expected or desired results. But that does not mean that individuals who place themselves in the hands of a licensed health care professional are casting their fates to the wind.
Have you ever had a battery-operated tool that gets finicky? The last time you used it, it was fine. You check the battery. Make sure it's installed in the device right. Hit the thing a few times with the heel of your hand. For some reason it refuses to work. Maybe after a few minutes of effort, it begins to go again.
How many times have you found yourself saying, "There oughta be a law." It typically surfaces when you are faced with some frustrating situation that you feel should never happen, but does. The thing is there often are laws for such issues. But the situations they cover may occur so rarely that it may be easy to assume they don't.
As deadly as Ebola is, it's not surprising that it took on the mantle as the biggest health scare in recent medical history. What may be more interesting is how relatively quickly it receded into the background. You barely hear any news about it at all here in Oregon or anywhere else.
It seems as if we go no more than a couple of weeks without hearing about how dangerous it can be to go to the hospital. Last October, we posted a blog entry about the different kinds of infections patients can be exposed to while being treated.
The sudden death of a loved one can be a big shock for a family. Families can be left with deep emotional turmoil and completely unable to see past their pain. In these situations, families may wonder if it is possible to hold someone responsible for the death of their beloved family member.
Life is precious and can easily be lost. Injuries, disease and other medical ailments can quickly make a person's life very difficult. Oregon's doctors are often trusted to fix these issues and get people back in good health. In some cases it might not be possible to fix every problem, but doctors are expected not to make things worse.
Oregon residents expect that their doctors, nurses and other medical professionals will treat them with the utmost care. Medical professionals are supposed to be highly trained to recognize and treat complicated medical procedures using the newest technology and research. It can be devastating when doctors fail to meet or exceed this expectation. A doctor error can often result in serious injuries and death.
It is a terrifying reality that mistakes happen in the operating room. An exhausted or inattentive nurse or doctor can make an inaccurate incision, nick an organ, operate on the wrong body part (or even the wrong patient), or leave a foreign object inside a patient. All of these doctor errors can cause significant harm to a patient. He or she may be left with a worsened medical condition that causes severe pain and suffering. In the worst cases, these instances are fatal.