Surgical Error

Medical Malpractice Claim

Patient Mix-Up Causes Medical Malpractice Death

February 26, 2018 by James McHugh, Jr.

Because all surgical procedures carry some amount of risk, many patients have a natural anxiety about going under the knife. Fortunately, advances in medical technology and training have made most operations incredibly safe; however, there is one type of medical risk hospitals around the country still struggle with – human error. This was the case for a Michigan woman who was the victim of a patient mix-up causing her medical malpractice death.

The woman went to a Michigan hospital in 2012 for a routine jaw surgery. Tragically, the woman’s x-ray records were mixed up with those belonging to another patient, and instead of performing a routine jaw surgery, surgeons began operating on her skull. Surgeons drilled five holes into the woman’s skull before sawing off a portion of her right skull. After this time surgeons finally realized they must have operated on the wrong the patient, but it was too late. The woman was no longer able to breathe on her own and was on life support for 60 days before passing away from complications related to the brain surgery.

Understanding “Never Events”

This type of egregious medical mistake is hard to comprehend. Instances like this Michigan patient mix-up are often referred to as “never events” because they should never occur in a facility with proper safety protocols in place. While these events are rare, they do happen and they have devastating consequences for patients and their families.

Hospitals are often quick to try to cover up their mistakes, so for victims of medical malpractice, understanding what really happened is difficult. Victims will need to rely on the expertise of a medical malpractice lawyer to request medical records, conduct interviews, and stand up to the hospital’s lawyers and insurance companies that will try to minimize the situation and mitigate their losses.

Get Help With Your Medical Malpractice Claim

At Lopez McHugh LLP, our lawyers have years of experiencing handling cases of “never events” and we work tirelessly to get justice for our clients. If you or someone you love suffered an injury or death due to medical malpractice, don’t wait to call us today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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