The website 98,000reasons.org highlights the many stories of people who have fallen victim to medical error. These stories involve surgical error, inattentiveness and hospital infections. One story involves a 29-year-old woman who underwent a partial thyroidectomy to remove a goiter at a hospital. Twelve hours later, she began to develop shortness of breath and felt her neck tighten. Despite complaints to the nurses, her condition was not appropriately monitored. She then went into respiratory arrest and suffered severe brain damage. It was later discovered that she had a hemotoma at the site of the surgery.
Another woman went in for kidney stone surgery in February of this year. Six weeks later her health was deteriorating. Doctors diagnosed her with hepatits C, a condition that also infected 35 other patients at the hospital. A state investigation revealed that the outbreak began with a hospital staff person who had used hospital syringes and painkillers for drug users.
The final story involves a woman with a kidney stone who was transferred to four different hospitals. Her body developed sepsis, a complication caused by infection. She then suffered congestive heart failure and had to have both legs amputated below her knees. These stories show that medical error is not something to be ignored. By enacting tort reform, Congress is simply ignoring these stories, and the stories of 98,000 more. To read more about medical error, please visit the American Association for Justice.