A News 5 Cleveland investigation has uncovered a shocking trend in which patients are found dead in their bed after surgery. These surgeries were considered successful and patients were recovering in normal rooms due to their supposedly low-risk of complications. In many situations, patients were found dead after only a few hours alone in their rooms.
With the advances in medical monitoring technology, how can this be possible?
The primary culprit appears to be the use of opioid painkillers. While opioids can help patients manage their pain levels during the recovery period, they do come with a serious set of side effects. One of these side-effects includes the risk of respiratory depression which can lead to hypoventilation.
Injury Law Favors Hurt Patients When It Comes to Settlements
A review of medical malpractice claims filed because of the injuries and deaths sustained has found an average wrongful death settlement of $2.5 million dollars to patients and their families. Furthermore, the verdicts favor patients more than the hospitals.
In Ohio, Summa Health’s Akron City Hospital is now one of those establishments facing a medical malpractice lawsuit after its failure to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels. As a result, the patient was left with brain damage and ultimately taken off life support.
According to News 5’s review, the problem could be solved if hospitals utilize a continuous oxygen monitoring system that would alert staff should patients begin to experience respiratory failure.
Summa Health does not employ the use of this readily available technology.
It’s very concerning to hear that hospitals throughout the USA do not adequately monitor certain patients after surgery. We rely on the medical establishment to care for our loved ones and most people would expect their family to be safe and thoroughly monitored while in a hospital room. This does not appear to be the case and those responsible must be held accountable for their negligence.