The Dirty Little Secret Hospitals Don’t Want You to Know
Experts estimate that 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year. Also, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that an additional 99,000 patients a year die from hospital-acquired infections.
More Americans die each month from preventable medical injuries than died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Although these numbers are not absolute they are growing evidence of problems in the Nation’s hospitals. There is no nationwide system of recording hospital errors. In fact, the American Hospital Association spent $81 million on lobbying and political donations to ensure that Former President Clinton’s plan to require hospitals to make information about serious errors public died before it could even get started.
The public in California has the right to know what hospitals have committed dangerous and lethal errors in order to protect themselves from becoming the next victim. In 2006, Stanely Stinnett became a victim of hospital error when he was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, California for non-life-threatening injuries from a motorcycle accident. During his stay at the hospital Stinnett developed respiratory problems that went unnoticed by hospital staff and his doctor. On his fifth day of hospitalization Stinnett aspirated and died. Stinnett’s death is one of many senseless deaths in California hospitals. State Senator Elaine Alquist from Santa Clara recently passed a bill in the state that required hospitals to report 28 hospital errors to the Department of Public Health. The belief is that this reporting system will make hospitals own up to the errors they have committed. Although the hope is to monitor hospital errors, the reality is that some problems are being caught while most are not due to vast under-reporting.
The York Law Firm is experienced in personal injury law and medical malpractice. A hospital and its staff have a duty of care owed to a patient to prevent medical errors and injuries. We go to doctors to minimize risks, not to increase risks. When seeking medical help, a patient should not be subjected to further medical complications due to the neglect of irresponsible doctors and other hospital staff. In the course of treatment, a patient’s safety should be protected. In our practice, we strive to ensure patient safety and that doctors, as well as hospital staff are held responsible for preventable medical errors.
Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle and KCRA have reported the problem of Death by Hospital Mistake.
York Law Corporation