Doctors and medical professionals are God-given individuals. Anytime we fall ill, be it a cough or cold, or even something serious, they are who we turn to. We put our trust in them and are ready to do exactly as they say. We consider them our lifesavers and revere them and respect them to a great extent. Naturally, when we entrust our lives to medical professionals, we expect them to understand the faith we have in them and offer their 100% in treating us. We expect them to be committed to their profession and to us, their patients.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is not to say that all medical professionals are equally negligent and couldn’t care less about their profession, but in certain cases, medical professionals are questionable when it comes to their commitment and dedication to an honorable profession such as medicine. There are a large number of cases where patients have suffered due to the negligence of doctors and medical professionals. The implications of the mistakes these professionals make are beyond comprehension and can even create life-threatening situations for their patients. Is it fair? Do we deserve to face threats to our lives in the very same place we go to in the hope of becoming better from whatever illness we suffer from? Well, here is the story of how a medical professional betrayed the trust of a patient.
Lauren was a single mom who had been suffering from kidney stones for a while. After consulting her physician, it was recommended that she undergo a minor procedure, a routine surgery to get the stones removed lest they cause any more discomfort. The incident took place nearly eight years ago. Lauren was the mother of a one-year-old.
She went for the surgery and returned home after the procedure was completed. Little did she know that her life was about to change. A few weeks later, for some reason, Lauren started to experience symptoms like nausea and fatigue. At first, she assumed nothing thinking it might be normal. But, as the symptoms became more severe, Lauren immediately understood that things were not good and there was something wrong with her health. She lost no time and immediately went to urgent care. It was there that she was told something very unsettling. Lauren was told that she was suffering from Jaundice. This diagnosis was given to her by the woman sitting behind the desk at urgent care.
Immediately, Lauren was sent to take blood tests to confirm the same and needless to say, Lauren tested positive for Hepatitis C. It is essentially a viral infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus and it affects the liver. The infection is incurable. Hepatitis C is spread through bodily fluids such as blood or by sharing drugs and needles. It cannot be passed on by food, water, or casual physical contact. Lauren started to panic as she as concerned about the health of her baby as well. She had no clue as to how in the world this could have ever happened to her. She found out how, three months later.
Lauren learned that she had contracted the infection from nowhere other than the hospital where she had gone to have her kidney stones removed and that shockingly, she was not the only victim. The incident had happened when Lauren was undergoing the surgery and a surgical technician happened to inject Lauren with saline with a needle that she had earlier used to inject herself. A single act of negligence and an unsuspecting single mother had fallen into this trap.
What’s even more surprising is that despite a large number of cases in this outbreak, the hospital shied away from doing anything to remedy the situation.
Is this really what healthcare has come to? Can people no longer go to hospitals to get treated for routine illnesses? Or do we live in the constant fear that we might become worse than before if we go to a hospital?
The medical profession is one that requires commitment, dedication, and loyalty. It is an honorable profession and doctors owe it to their patients to be careful with their lives, especially since their patients trust them with their lives. We deserve proper and meticulous healthcare and we deserve medical professionals who are conscientious about their work. It is no small feat to entrust someone else with looking after our health and deciding what is the best for us and we deserve proper healthcare.
Over the year, there have been plenty of cases of negligence by doctors that have ultimately led to the death of patients who were healthy and had just gone in for a routine procedure like Lauren. Medical negligence cases such as this leave children without their parents, families without their loved ones. Is this fair? Is this acceptable? Why are hospitals not doing more to resolve such situations? Unfortunately, medical negligence affects everyone alike, big or small, rich or poor, whatever be the socio-economic status, it affects everyone, one and the same.
One of the most famous cases of medical negligence happened in 2007 and affected two newly born babies. The Quaid twins were healthy babies and it was just two weeks since they had been born when they developed a staph infection. Their parents immediately took them to the hospital for treatment. Unknown to the parents, the staff had accidentally administered drugs which were 1000 times the dosage that is normally administered to newborns. Their negligence caused extreme bleeding in the babies and once the hospital found out their mistake, they tried to cover it up. Fortunately, the twins were placed in intensive care and made a full recovery two weeks later. But there is no knowing what might have happened otherwise.
The hospital did not even care to inform the parents that their twins were in critical condition until the very last minute. Is this really what we should expect from hospitals? Should we fear going to a hospital? The topic is debatable and there are no definite answers.
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