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View Diary: Medical Error, Liability, and Murtha (322 comments)

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  •  similar story with my grandmother (4+ / 0-)

    Not the maternity part.

    She was admitted to the hospital by her personal physician, who she had seen for decades, for a respiratory infection. As was noted in her medical records, she was allergic to penicillin. Can you guess what happened next?

    She spent six weeks in the hospital recovering from kidney failure brought on by the allergic reaction to the penicillin she was given. The doctor more or less hid from us for the duration. For reasons I don’t understand, my grandmother didn’t sue. However, she did spend two weeks in ICU and four weeks in a private room and she never got a bill for a dime of it...so it appeared the powers that be understood what position they were in. Also for reasons I don’t understand, my grandmother completely recovered her kidney function and lived another 18 years.  

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 08:34:58 AM PST

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    •  I'll wager a guess (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, freelunch, elfling, Dar Nirron

      I'll bet she didn't sue because the hospital ate the bills.  Another reason is that she recovered her kidney function - so she was able to get on with her life.  When people aren't permanently damaged and the person or entity who hurt them accepts responsibility for their actions, people are not likely to sue.  Lawsuits are much more likely to happen when a person has been seriously injured and cannot make a full recovery and the person who did it acts like a jerk.

      •  Apparently hospitals have had to be trained (6+ / 0-)

        that when you have someone recovering from a medical error that is in dispute, FOR GOODNESS SAKE DON'T SEND THEM A BILL, literally adding insult to injury.

        The studies show that admitting mistakes and ensuring that the patient is made as whole as possible by the doctor/hospital - for example, not getting a bill for the errant treatment - substantially reduces malpractice costs, as well as being the right thing to do.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 09:51:07 AM PST

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