As a Medical Malpractice Attorney in DC, the Dr. Death story is all too real.
I started listening to the Dr. Death podcast recently and it's a horrible story of a system failure by hospitals, doctors and the medical system - they allowed and covered up for an incompetent surgeon who harmed patients over and over again, causing paralysis and death.
And the patients had no idea they were seeing a doctor who was incompetent (or worse).
It sounds like a fictional nightmare, but it is a true story that uncovers a lot of problems with hospitals and the medical system.
Medical Malpractice is Usually the Result of a System Failure in a Hospital.
What does that mean?
Well, medical malpractice that does real harm - causing paralysis, brain damage, death is caused by a failure to follow the rules. Just like every walk of life, occupation, even games, hospitals, HMOs, doctor's groups, healthcare providers, nurses, techs, all have rules to follow to keep patients safe in the healthcare system.
We call these Patient Safety Rules - they are what the standard of care requires a healthcare provider to do under the circumstances.
The Dr. Death podcast shows how important Patient Safety Rules are and what can happen when they are not followed. It exposes not only the physician, a neurosurgeon, who was involved, but the hospitals he worked at, the administrators, the hospital he trained at, the state board of licensing, really the whole medical system.
And if it could happen there, it could happen anywhere - that's the scariest part.
These hospitals let the surgeon continue to operate on people over and over again, even though other doctors, nurses and techs were telling them he shouldn't have been in the operating room, and even though patients were dying or being paralyzed because of his malpractice.
The hospitals didn't report him to the state board that regulates physicians, they didn't fire him and just let him leave voluntarily, hospitals never disclosed the findings of their internal investigations into the allegations of malpractice and never warned other hospitals.
It's fascinating, but horrifying, to hear about how these hospitals basically passed this doctor around because he would leave one hospital and just apply for privileges at another hospital. Either the second hospital wouldn't check with the previous one, or the first hospital would't tell the truth.
I don't want to give too much away, but a couple of courageous doctors and hospital staff stepped up to uncover the malpractice on several patients he had operated on, and the whole thing unraveled from there.
How Do You Know If You Were Affected by Medical Malpractice?
Dr. Death is an extreme example of covering up medical malpractice (and worse) but the reality is - hospitals won't tell you when they make a medical mistake. Even if you meet with hospital administrators and the doctors involved in your medical care or your family member's care, they just won't own up to went wrong when they caused the harm.
We've even had a case where malpractice at a D.C. hospital caused cerebral palsy at birth. The hospital never told the mom that the reason her son had cerebral palsy was because of perinatal asphxia that should have been prevented by the hospital's obstetrician. The mom continued to take her son to this hospital system for his medical care, treatment and appointments due to his cerebral palsy but also all of his routine medical care for the first 18 years of his life.
And she often asked his doctors why he had cerebral palsy - was it something she did when she was pregnant? was it some kind of birth defect? some kind of hereditary issue? On top of taking care of a teenager who couldn't speak, feed himself or care for himself, but was growing into a young man, she felt guilty and thought his condition was her fault.
When we investigated the medical malpractice case for this family, the medical records from birth showed the cause of the young man's cerebral palsy.
The hospital knew their obstetrician's malpractice caused his cerebral palsy the entire time, but they never told the mom. It was right there in the hospital's medical chart.
What Should You Do if You Were Affected by Medical Malpractice?
If you have a catastrophic injury or medical condition like paralysis, brain damage, cerebral palsy, have an experienced medical malpractice attorney evaluate what happened - a medical malpractice lawyer you can trust to tell you the truth.
We have an entire system for working with people to evaluate medical malpractice so we can get to the truth about what happened in a hospital and work to hold the hospital, HMO or healthcare corporations accountable to provide the resources you and your family need to care for someone who is critically injured - who may need home modifications, 24/7 care, a wheelchair accessible van and everything they need to live as independently as they can, even with a serious injury or medical condition.
Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 and we can get started today!