When you get hurt in an accident, it is only natural to turn to a hospital and doctors for help. It’s also natural to assume that they’ll do their best to improve your condition — not make your situation worse.
It doesn’t always work out, however. Consider the lawsuit recently filed against WellStar’s Atlanta Medical Center and its doctors by a Georgia woman following her husband’s death. The woman’s husband fell off a ladder and fractured a vertebra — which needed surgery.
That’s where everything went really wrong. In what has been described as a “shocking” act of negligence during surgery, an interventional radiologist was tasked with inserting a supra-pubic catheter in the man’s bladder to ease urinary retention. The radiologist missed the bladder entirely and inserted the cath into the man’s abdomen. This caused fluids to drain into this body inappropriately, which eventually caused sepsis and organ failure.
The man suffered needlessly for weeks after his May 4 surgery before finally dying on July 21. In addition to the mistake made by the radiologist, doctors also failed to administer the man’s heart medication, nor did they do any follow-up imaging to see if the catheter was in its proper place.
Cases like this are a painful reminder that doctors don’t always know best — and that patients and their relatives and friends have to be extremely vigilant about mistakes. If you are a patient in a hospital or your loved one is receiving care, ask questions. Demand answers. Call the patient advocate or ombudsman if you must. It could save you or your loved one from a similar fate.
If you’ve been the victim of medical negligence or your loved one has suffered from medical mistakes, find out more about the possibility of a malpractice claim against the provider.