Hospital Negligence

Your Rights. Your Lawyer.

Mistakes are all too common in the hospital setting. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous “To Err Is Human” report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. The number was initially disputed, but is now widely accepted by doctors and hospital officials — and quoted ubiquitously in the media.

Hospital NegligenceIn 2010, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients on Medicare alone in a given year.

Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.

That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.

Mr. Milles has successfully represented individuals and their families when mistakes made by hospitals or their employees cause permanent disability, amputation, and death. Mr. Milles has been lead counsel or co-counsel in hospital negligence lawsuits involving surgical errors, retained foreign objects, infections, fournier’s gangrene, failure to follow physician orders, failure to timely diagnose, failure to communicate diagnostics, wrong site surgery, catheter injuries, aspiration, choking, bedrail death, falls, pressure ulcers, anesthesia errors, medication errors, and other mistakes. Mr. Milles has been lead counsel in numerous cases involving hospital defendants, and has litigated significant hospital negligence cases against national for profit hospital corporations.

Mr. Milles has pursued wrongful death actions throughout the United States, including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Mr. Milles also represents families in Atlanta and South Georgia, including Thomasville, Georgia, Moultrie, Georgia, Valdosta, Georgia, Albany, Georgia, and Savannah, Georgia. Mr. Milles represents injured Floridians in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Panama City, Crawfordville, Apalachicola, Midway, Blountstown, Bristol, Eastpoint, Quincy, Monticello, Tampa, Gadsden County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Wakulla County, Bay County and Santa Rosa County.

Never events are inexcusable actions in a health care setting, the “kind of mistake that should never happen”. The initial list of 28 events was compiled by the National Quality Forum of the United States. The National Quality Forum is a not-for-profit membership organization created in 1999 to develop and implement a national strategy for health care quality measurement and reporting. They are defined as “adverse events that are serious, largely preventable, and of concern to both the public and health care providers for the purpose of public accountability.” A Tallahassee medical malpractice attorney at Milles Law can answer any questions about never events or if you believe your loved one has suffered from medical malpractice.

According to a 2012 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, there are as many as 1,500 instances of ‘surgical souvenirs’—instances in which a surgical tool or other foreign object is left inside of a patient’s body after surgery—every year in the United States. The same study suggests an estimated total number of surgical mistakes at just over 4,000 per year in the United States; however, these statistics are extrapolations from incomplete data rather than actual event counts.

Never Events

As defined by the National Quality Forum and commonly agreed upon by health care providers, the current list of 28 never events includes:

    • Unintended retention of a foreign body in a patient after surgery or other procedure
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with patient elopement (disappearance)
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error (e.g., errors involving the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong time, wrong rate, wrong preparation or wrong route of administration)
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with a hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO/HLA-incompatible blood or blood products
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock or elective cardioversion while being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
    • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
    • Wrong surgical procedure performed on a patient
    • Intraoperative or immediately post-operative death in an ASA Class I patient
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care, in which the device is used or functions other than as intended
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurs while being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Infant discharged to the wrong person
    • Patient suicide, or attempted suicide resulting in serious disability, while being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Maternal death or serious disability associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a health care facility
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Death or serious disability (kernicterus) associated with failure to identify and treat hyperbilirubinemia in neonates
    • Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to a healthcare facility
    • Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulative therapy
    • Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility
    • Sexual assault on a patient within or on the grounds of the healthcare facility

Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault (i.e., battery) that occurs within or on the grounds of the healthcare facility

If you or your loved one has suffered personal injury by hospital negligence, please contact a Tallahassee medical malpractice lawyer at Milles Law now. Looking for Tallahassee medical malpractice attorneys? Contact a medical malpractice lawyer at Milles Law to learn about your rights.