When a person enters the hospital, she or he may forget that the individuals working there are human. This means they can make mistakes and errors that can create serious issues for patients. During an emergency situation, few patients consider this possibility: they simply want to receive the medical attention they need. This often leaves individuals unconcerned about the care they received until after the fact, a which makes them vulnerable to medical mistakes.
One such mistake occurred to a 64-year-old man after he underwent a surgical procedure involving his throat. It was deemed a success, but this was not the issue: The problem was the man had been sent home with the wrong medical notes. According to reports, the notes indicated a lesion had been discovered on his vocal cord during the procedure. That lesion allegedly required a biopsy because staff had concerns that it was cancerous. The man then spent three days worried that he had cancer.
But soon after, the man called the hospital and was informed he had received the incorrect notes upon being discharged. This left the man feeling relieved. Luckily for the hospital, it seems that he will not be filing a claim. Reports indicate he is simply elated that he does not have cancer.
The hospital mistake that affected this man may not be tremendous enough for a successful suit, although it is possible that the emotional turmoil the man experienced due to the error may be enough to push for some sort of compensation. Had the hospital not immediately admitted to its error or performed the incorrect procedure on the man, a claim would have likely been pursuable. Anyone affected by a medical error – be it at the hands of a doctor, nurse or administrative employee – should contact a lawyer to determine if there is anything that can be done.
Source: Exmouth Journal, “Hospital blunder led Exmouth man to believe he had cancer” Becca Gliddon, Jun. 14, 2013