Medication errors can be harmful and even deadly. Hospitals and other health care facilities have safeguards to help prevent them. So do pharmacies. However, people are human. They get rushed or tired and sometimes don't pay as much attention to the medications they're dispensing or administering as they should.
In a rare show of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass the Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Accountability Act. The proposed law would prohibit the VA from "enter[ing] into a settlement agreement relating to an adverse action" that would "conceal a serious medical error or a lapse in generally-accepted standards of clinical practice." It would also require the department to report these disciplinary actions to state licensing boards as well as the National Practitioner Data Bank.
Many people choose to have cosmetic surgery over the holidays when they can take a couple of weeks off to heal. The rate of noninvasive cosmetic procedures also rises over the holidays because people want to look their best at gatherings of family and friends who haven't seen them for a while.
One reason people are living longer than ever is that medications are available to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a host of other conditions that killed many of our ancestors before they reached what we now consider the "senior years."
If you go to an emergency room (ER) or take a loved one there, you likely aren't expecting the same level of personalized care that you receive in your doctor's office or if you checked in for a scheduled hospital stay. However, emergency room patients are entitled to a specific standard of care. When that doesn't occur and a patient is further injured or sickened as a result, legal action may be warranted.
Strokes are the leading cause of serious, long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in this country. People who are fortunate enough to survive a stroke are often left paralyzed -- typically on one side of their body. Many stroke survivors' ability to speak is impaired.
As patients, it's ultimately our responsibility to make the decision about whether or how a medical condition will be treated. However, we have to be able to give "informed consent." That's where the doctor's responsibility comes in.
One of the many fears that patients have before surgery is that the anesthesia might wear off too soon, and they'll wake up during the procedure. The phenomenon of "anesthetic awareness" is relatively rare (although exact numbers vary widely depending on which study you look at). Not surprisingly, it's more common in surgeries where smaller amounts of anesthesia are used -- such as in emergency C-sections.
Babies who are twins, triplets and quadruplets sometimes have to spend time in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because they are underweight or have other health issues. If they're born prematurely, their parents may not have chosen names for them yet. In some religions, such as Judaism, parents don't announce a child's name for a specific period after they're born.
One Army sergeant who was wounded while serving in Iraq is using what are likely his final months of life to fight for the right of active duty service members to sue the government for medical malpractice. They are currently prohibited from suing for malpractice or negligence of any kind because of the Feres Doctrine. It's named for a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1950.