A 39 year-old woman awoke just as the surgeons were about to begin to remove her organs for donation to patients on waiting lists to receive them in a medical malpractice case that occurred in 2009. Although incidents such as this are rare in occurrence, they are an example of how Wisconsin hospitals must ensure that protocol is established and followed when determining whether a patient is truly medically deceased and avoid medical malpractice.
Wisconsin patients who are facing gallbladder surgery may be interested to hear about a study that has found emergency gallbladder surgery to be more at risk of complications than planned surgery. The results of this study do not reveal if these complications are due to medical malpractice or other factors. The study reviewed approximately 600 surgeries that took place over an eight month period. Of those surgeries, 22 patients had complications after the surgery. Eighteen of those patients were those who suddenly had to undergo emergency surgery. The study also revealed that undergoing surgery after 7 p.m. and being an older male were also risk factors.
People in Wisconsin contemplating going in for a surgery might be interested to hear that there are certain months, days, and times when their risk of encountering medical errors may be higher. Traditionally, people used to plan surgeries around lunar cycles, and while that is not necessarily how surgeries are planned nowadays, the calendar may still play a part in the worst times to have surgeries.
Wisconsin residents may be interested in a story about a 35-year-old man who endured a bad nose job in an effort to correct his somewhat asymmetric nose. Expecting for the procedure to be simple and requiring just two days of recovery, the patient is now seeking legal action for what has turned into a series of 23 corrective operations. The subsequent surgeries have attempted to address complications from the initial surgery and have replaced his nose with skin and cartilage from other parts of the patient's body. The man's nostrils are now nonexistent and have been substituted by a straw placed within a collapsing tunnel.
Wisconsin individuals who have visited the doctor's office or emergency room may be interested to know that up to 20 percent of cases are misdiagnosed. These incidences of medical malpractice far exceed the number of drug and surgery errors but receive considerably less attention.
Those who live in Wisconsin and require sex assignment surgery must usually go through extensive counseling and consultation with physicians before an operation will be performed. Most doctors are cautious about performing this type of procedure. This is due to the possibility of a painful recovery, and even psychological damage if a patient has surgery for the wrong reasons. In fact, a South Carolina couple is now suing doctors and a hospital for medical malpractice in connection with the performance of a sex assignment procedure on their adopted child.
Wisconsin medical patients may want to observe their physician's interaction with the staff the next time they visit the doctor. New studies among health care workers have revealed that bullying and disruptive behavior among doctors and nurses is common. Some workers say that this behavior is leading to medical malpractice. In a recent survey of over 4,500 health care workers, over 77 percent of respondents said that they had witnessed disruptive or bullying behavior among doctors. Another 65 percent said they had seen such behavior from nurses. Two-thirds claimed that the disruptive behavior had led to medical errors, and one-third said the behavior contributed to a patient's death.
Medical technology keeps advancing, and most doctors and healthcare professionals consider these advances beneficial for patients. However, cases of medical malpractice have been reported involving one new and widely used technology: the robotic multi-armed da Vinci, used in nearly 400,000 surgeries in 2012.The robotic system has been linked with reports of deaths and injuries as well as elevated costs over other forms of surgery. Some doctors are concerned that there was too much advertising and hype associated with the introduction of robotic arm surgery and not enough research to support its use or to show that it is more effective than other, cheaper surgical methods.
In an effort to study the effects of reducing the shift times of hospital residents in Wisconsin and other states, two research groups surveyed more than 2,300 interns going into residency programs. Residents were sent surveys every three months, asking questions about their performance on the job, sleep habits and mental health. The surprising results of the study are that the risk of medical malpractice increases when residents are assigned shorter shifts.According to the studies that are being published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, residents who worked a maximum of 16 hours without a break instead of 30 hours were up to 20 percent more likely to make a mistake. This finding clearly runs counter to the goal of the medical oversight board's decision to reduce shift times, which was to improve patient care and decrease errors made by sleepy doctors.
A doctor and a nurse serving in the Wisconsin Legislature have introduced a bill that would allow medical practitioners to apologize to patients when a mistake is made without the words being used against them later. Thirty-five states have similar laws.In 2006, a similar bill was introduced and approved by the legislature. Governor Doyle vetoed the measure. In 2011, the bill was reintroduced but did not pass the Senate. Some lawyers fear that the bill goes too far. However, proponents of the bill say that an apology can go a long way toward helping medical malpractice victims heal. Some patients do not wish to file a lawsuit at all. What they really want is to talk to the medical provider about what happened and understand what went wrong. Under the current state of the law, doctors and nurses cannot apologize to patients without opening themselves up to civil liability.