With the advent of high-tech surgical processes involving things like flexible endoscopes and surgical robotics, hospital negligence has reared its ugly head in the most pedestrian and low-tech of ways: keeping instruments clean between surgeries.
A long queue of defective product and medical malpractice lawsuits -- including one from 2010 that initially resulted in a jury award of $500 million -- has reportedly just been settled between Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and more than 80 persons from Southern Nevada who contracted hepatitis C from tainted vials of an anesthesia made by the company and used during colonoscopies.
A new variable might soon be routinely thrown into the mix in a medical malpractice determination regarding failure to treat infection or negligent treatment of infection or a serious disease, namely this: How closely did the doctor or relevant staff member read the list of ingredients for a dispensed drug or treatment?
For more than eight years, a large number of hospitals across the country apparently found that performing a certain procedure to treat spinal cord injuries was inordinately lucrative.
Here's one way for a hospital to react to a federally mandated patient safety report that the government required it to compile to document steps toward improvement following a period of woeful performance: Refuse to disclose the report publicly after promising to do so and following the opportunity to improve.
It's less a case of medication error than it is of medication abuse, and the offending parties constitute a broad range of medical actors and participants.
"Hospitals are hierarchical organizations resistant to change."
A jury acted decidedly in a recent medical malpractice case concerning botched weight-loss surgery in a Jacksonville, Florida, hospital.