Medical Malpractice Killed Woman, Family Finds Out Two Years Later
Losing a loved one is never easy. However, finding out that a loved one’s death was entirely preventable—and was covered up by medical professionals—is a nightmare no family should endure.
Nearly two years after an 87-year-old woman passed away in a Texas hospital, a family member received a mysterious package that revealed the truth about the woman’s death.
The woman was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. Of course, pneumonia is always a dangerous illness for an elderly woman. The woman’s health began to deteriorate in the hospital, and she passed away some time later. Her family was told that the death was caused by complications from pneumonia.
But in January of 2017, the woman’s daughter received a letter that outlined the horrific truth—with documents to support the allegations. In the letter, the anonymous author stated that a doctor tried to insert a catheter into the woman’s neck to begin dialysis. Dialysis could have been beneficial for the kidney issues the woman was having. The doctor’s first attempt failed, and the second attempt was even worse—the wire was actually stuck. The doctor tried to get the wire out, causing blood to spray from the woman’s neck, like a scene out of a horror movie. There was so much blood that the woman’s hospital gown was drenched. The woman’s heart stopped, and, though she was revived once, she ultimately died as a result of her injuries.
Why did the family find this out in a letter two years after the woman died? Why did no one inform the family of what really happened that day in the hospital? And, who wrote the letter?
A nurse who was actually off duty when the tragic incident occurred penned the letter to the woman’s daughter. The nurse saw the file and was shocked at what it revealed. The nurse assumed that the hospital would take proper action against those responsible. However, days went by. Then weeks. Then months.
The nurse tried multiple avenues to hold the wrongdoers accountable. She told a superior what happened, but it was ignored. She contacted the hospital’s corporate office, but she was told the situation was none of her business. The nurse reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which investigates hospitals. The department found that the hospital should have gotten consent before the procedure to place the catheter, but nothing was done. In fact, although the nurse asked to remain anonymous, she was fired after the department revealed she had reached out about the incident.
It is possible that the woman never would have recovered from pneumonia. On the other hand, she might well have lived for several more years and enjoyed more birthdays, holiday celebrations, and other special events with her family. But what really caused her death was the botched procedure, which was entirely preventable. But the real cause of her death was swept under the rug by individuals who treated the death of another human being as an “oops.” Thankfully, one nurse felt morally obliged to get involved and had the courage to do so.
It is difficult to bring a medical malpractice case due to the numerous legislative protections that medical professionals enjoy. However, one medical malpractice attorney, appalled at the conduct of the hospital and its staff, agreed to file a claim on the family’s behalf. The attorney commented, “Taking the case was not a smart financial decision. We don’t expect to make money on this. We’re here because people more noble than myself set an example of courage that’s pretty hard to match.”
Fortunately, there are medical malpractice attorneys who truly care about their clients and want to help them obtain enough compensation to move on with their lives—or to help their surviving family members heal and move forward. Medical negligence is a serious issue. In fact, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. The medical professionals responsible for these deaths must be held accountable. An experienced and focused medical malpractice attorney can be the difference between holding careless doctors accountable and allowing them to get away with carelessness and indifference.
If you or a loved one was injured by a physician or other healthcare provider, seek legal advice now
There are deadlines imposed by law that limit how long injured patients have to file a claim. Therefore, it is important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your claim. At The Eisen Law Firm, we take medical malpractice very seriously and aggressively pursue all avenues of recovery on behalf of our clients. To schedule your free consultation with our leading Ohio medical malpractice attorneys, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online.