Child’s Death Renews Medical Error Debate
News outlets examine efforts to end hospital errors and a different case may challenge laws that protect military medical personnel from medical malpractice lawsuits.
CBS: (video) Baby's Death Prompts War Against Hospital Errors
The federal government announced last week a new initiative aimed at preventing medical errors in hospitals - an epidemic that costs American taxpayers billions and results in hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost each year. ... (While in the hospital, newborn Genesis Burkett) was given 60 times the normal dose of sodium in his IV bag. Blood tests that day revealed he had extremely high levels of sodium in his body, and despite doctor's orders to have him checked, nothing was done for more than eight hours. By some estimates by the Texas Medical Institute of Technology, 200,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors, and countless more are injured. Don Berwick, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Dangers of hospital negligence, said, "As many as one in seven, maybe even one in three of every hospital admission or patients are injured by the care that's supposed to help them" (4/22).
The Associated Press: Military Faces Challenge To Malpractice Shield
Veterans, military families and others who oppose a decades-old law that shields military medical personnel from malpractice lawsuits are rallying around a case they consider the best chance in a generation to change the widely unpopular protection. If the law is overturned, it could expose the federal government to billions of dollars in liability claims. That makes it highly unlikely a divided Congress desperate to cut expenses will act on its own to change what's called the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court ruling that effectively equates injuries from medical mistakes with battlefield wounds (Stacy, 4/23).