Patients put their trust—and their lives—in the hands of doctors and medical personnel every day. Fortunately, medical professionals are highly trained and competent. However, these same professionals are also human and subject to make mistakes at times. Medical errors can result from anything including birth injury, anesthesia errors, pharmacy errors and more and can lead to serious consequences for both patients and providers.
One recent situation in North Providence, RI has left a patient with a life threatening condition and serious decision to make. Years after successful completion of treatment for breast cancer, a woman has discovered that a portion of a medical port had been left in her body and grown attached to her jugular vein. Leaving the port in her body could lead to complications, including death. Surgery to remove the piece of the port also carries a high chance of death. A medical malpractice suit is underway in the case.
The original port was implanted into the patient an easy way to take blood or provide medications via IV without the need to insert needles into her arm every time. It is a commonly used device and was removed after she had completed her treatment regimen. Unfortunately, the entire device was not removed and eventually was found when she experienced breathing problems several years later.
Because of the human nature of all medical personnel, patients should be careful to understand the procedures they undergo as well as their rights to information and recourse in the event of medical mistake or medical negligence. Talking to a medical malpractice attorney can be helpful in understanding this information.
Source: NBC 10, “I-Team: Woman sues hospital over device left in body,” Parker Gavigan, June 7, 2013