Because of the routine simplicity of administering medical procedures, like setting a broken bone or having minor surgery, doctors are seemingly confounded when things go wrong and a patient dies. Their reaction can be to blame a rare syndrome or condition as the cause of the death, one that they have never seen before, and that they were caught by surprise. They may claim that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the patient’s death. More often than not, however, the rare syndrome diagnosis is just a cover for medical malpractice and doctor and hospital negligence.
A recent story written by a hospital patient advocacy group, ProPublica for the website thedailybeast.com, tells the story of women who was admitted to a hospital for the treatment of minor seizures and was simply to be given medication, held for observation and released. What was to be a routine treatment turned out to trigger a series of events that caused her death. And the upshot is that neither the doctors or the hospital have ever been held accountable for their negligence.
ProPublica, through a questionnaire sent to the survivors of people who have died due to likely hospital malpractice, found that the woman somehow fell out of her hospital bed and broke both her hip and her wrist. It’s not a stretch to see how a person suffering from seizures could fall and hurt themselves if not properly medicated and supervised. The bone breaks were not diagnosed or treated for days and when they finally were an expensive hip replacement was performed. The hip replacement surgery caused a severe infection. All this time the patient was being given an improper IV for her seizures that caused her to seek medical treatment in the first place and she suffered severe swelling in her arm, neck and face. When the patient died, the hospital claimed that the cause of death was a rare disease that was caused by the IV drip and that they had never seen it before.