There can be reasonable chances of procedure failures or unexpected accidents, but medical malpractice certainly does not fall under the category of reasonable. Malpractice is negligence, which is why there are legal liabilities levied against those physicians who commit malpractice.
Medical malpractice can take many forms. Some of the more insidious cases of medical malpractice can literally give people shivers up and down their spine. The following six legendary cases may do just that.
- The Oregon Sperm Donor Mix Up. Matthew Hayes and his finance agreed to undergo artificial insemination at an Oregon hospital. A major mix up occurred when the doctors inseminated the wrong woman. The distraught Hayes would go on and file a malpractice suit. He has suffered an enormous amount of trauma realizing he is the father of a child he will never know. Privacy laws seal all records in regards to sperm donations.
- Removing the Wrong Lung after the Wrong Diagnosis. Laurence Ball suffered enormous pain, suffering, and indignity when he was diagnosed with lung cancer at a UK hospital. Subsequently, surgery was performed to remove the lung. The problem here is the cancer diagnosis was wrong. The lung removed was a healthy one.
- Medical Device Recalls: A Serious Epidemic. While those who are involved with the design and manufacturing of medical devices work tirelessly to ensure people acquire a solution to their health woes, quite a number of medical devices end up being released even though they have structural problems. As a result, like an automobile with a faulty part, these devices have to be recalled. Often, this is not until after a patient has experienced a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. Hip replacement surgeries offer a sad example of how ineffective medical devices can negatively impact the quality of a patient's life. Stryker hip replacement implants, for example, have gained a great deal of notoriety in the aftermath of a major recall after finding some problems with them. 31,000 devices have been recalled over the past two years due to the implants necessitating revision surgeries and also causing undue pain.
- Surgeons who are Unable to Perform. There can be instances where a doctor is in no shape to perform a procedure. Yet, no one takes any responsible steps to keep the physician from actually performing a procedure on a patient. Michael Hicks was to undergo a 90 minute liposuction session. The session ended up lasting well over six hours because the doctor was literally falling asleep on the job. Shockingly, no one stepped in to take responsibility and stop the session or find a new, more capable doctor to ensure no serious harm befell Hicks.
- Brain Surgery Mistakes. Brain surgery is one of the most complicated procedures a doctor and staff could ever be responsible for performing. As such, only the most competent and skilled medical practitioners perform this type of surgery. To assume that such a high level of skill means no problems or mistakes occur would be a false assumption. Case in point, at a hospital in Rhode Island, operations on the wrong side of the brain occurred three times. In one case, an elderly man died as a result of the mistake.
- Organ Transplant with the Wrong Blood Type. Organ transplant surgeries are extremely risky and no matter how skilled the surgeons may be, the potential exists that the body could reject the organs. If certain errors are made, however, the chances of the procedure being a success are impossible. When Jesica Santillan received a heart and double lung transplant, a major error was made. Her blood type was O and the donor was type A. This contributed to her eventual death.