Opioid addiction is a rampant problem nationwide. More than two million people are addicted to these powerful painkillers, and more than 25,000 people die from overdoses each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It's a major public health issue with complex ramifications.
A diagnosis of cerebral palsy is devastating for parents and children alike. It can mean a lifetime of intensive medical care and therapy. It can mean day-to-day struggles with basic mobility and cognitive development. It can even mean long-term residence in a professional care facility.
Drug abuse is rampant in our country - so much so, in fact, that it's a leading cause of death. Accidental overdoses claim far more lives than most people realize. It surpasses car accidents, falls and accidental injuries in terms of overall death toll. In 2014 alone, for example, more than 42,000 people across the country were killed by drugs.
Childbirth is one of life's most exciting milestones. Of course, it's also a major medical event. Even with normal pregnancies, complications can arise at any time during labor and delivery, requiring swift intervention to protect both mother and baby.
Our system of medical care isn't perfect. Yet that's no excuse for the untold medical errors that harm innocent patients every year. In fact, according to researchers at John Hopkins, medical malpractice is surpassed only by heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death among Americans.
Hospital patients are often at their most vulnerable. Their fragile health may be tottering on the brink of life and death.
In our last post, we looked briefly at the complaint process overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of State for medical board discipline of physicians. We briefly mentioned the various aspects of the complaint itself, which include basic information about the parties involved, the facts, witnesses, and any available related documents.
In recent posts, we've mentioned the physician discipline process as something that can be taken advantage of by patients who have been harmed by a negligent provider but who are unable to pursue medical malpractice litigation. As we noted, an attorney is not needed to file a complaint, but it certainly can be helpful.
According to a recent study from the University of Michigan, there is significant variation in how state medical boards regulate physicians. Differences in things like reporting procedures, disciplinary methods and standards for determining appropriate discipline all make a difference--sometimes significant--in how physicians accused of misconduct are handled.
Medical malpractice litigation is an indispensable avenue of recovery for those who are harmed by a negligent physician. One thing that needs to be kept in mind, though, is that not every instance where a patient is harmed in the course of medical care will translate into a viable medical malpractice case.