A Lifelong Battle Ahead
Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Every year, 440,000 patients are killed by preventable medical errors in our country, and countless more are injured.
Lauren is one of those injured patients. She went to a Denver hospital for kidney stone surgery in late winter. Despite the successful kidney stone removal, six weeks later, Lauren’s health began to go downhill.
She felt constantly tired and never hungry. After a week of being in this condition, Lauren became jaundiced. She went in for testing and her doctor found that her liver was hugely inflamed and that she had contracted Hepatitis C. But she wasn’t alone. In fact, at least 35 other patients who had procedures done in this same hospital became infected with Hepatitis C.
When officials investigated, they revealed that the outbreak began with a hospital staff person who had used hospital syringes and painkillers for their own drug use. For Lauren and the other dozens injured here, they will have a lifelong battle with a disease because of this preventable medical error.
However it is dressed up, “tort reform” can actually protect people like the hospital staff person who infected Lauren. At the same time these legislative proposals also limit the rights of the victims – those who must do battle with a deadly disease.
If no one is accountable, no one is safe. Limits on patients’ ability to hold negligent health care providers accountable hurts Americans like Lauren, and does not address the medical error epidemic our country is facing. Our loved ones deserve better.