After doctors did not properly sterilize equipment before operations, 18 neurosurgery patients may develop an incurable brain disorder.
In this case, the doctors at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center had used equipment on another patient who had undergone surgery for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and then did not sterilize the tools, creating an increased chance that these patients will also develop the disease.
The hospital said the chance of these patients developing CJ disease is very low, but they also admitted the hospital should have taken extra measures when sterilizing the equipment.
Those affected by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may not show symptoms for several months, and a patient typically dies within one year of developing the disease.
Because of the severity of this medical negligence case, L.A. Times reported that the patients’ medical lawyers and the hospital reached a confidential settlement agreement.
What is Medical Negligence?
Unfortunately, medical negligence occurs at an alarming rate. “Never events”—that is, events that should never occur during a medical procedure—are on the rise, with 80,000 patients having been the victim of preventable mistakes between 1990 and 2010. Medical errors have even become the third leading cause of death in the United States, with statistics showing as many as 400,000 deaths per year result from medical negligence. In fact, if the Center for Disease Control and Prevention classified medical errors as diseases, they would be the sixth leading cause of disease-specific death. Doctors, pharmacists, hospital administrators and nurses all could potentially be liable for any mistakes they make during the operating room.
What Should You do if You Think Medical Staff Acted Negligently?
Everyone makes mistakes, but any time you undergo some kind of medical operation, you want surgeons, nurses and other staff to act with the utmost care. A team of lawyers specializing in medical law could be crucial to help you win your negligence case. Because these lawyers have dealt with similar cases before, they’ll know which questions to ask and what evidence to gather to ultimately win your case.
Hospitals can sometimes try to eschew their responsibilities after making mistakes in the operating room, so you’ll need lawyers that aren’t afraid to fight for your rights. Contact Malman Law to start your case today. We’ll meet with you for a zero-obligation consultation to discuss the logistics and specifics of your case to help you get the justice you deserve.
For more information on medical malpractice, you can also read our e-Book download.