The US Department of Veterans Affairs said in a recent report released last week, that so far six deaths have been attributed to delayed screenings for colorectal cancer at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Columbia.
According to the report, which was released by the VA’s Inspector General, delayed colonoscopies and other screenings have so far been linked to malignancies later identified in 52 patients. The report did not specify the extent of seriousness in those cases. The VA said that extra staff has been hired to meet increased demand, and that clinical staff will contract out work to local health care providers as necessary.
The Inspector General for the VA determined that, in addition to other potential causes, the Center fell behind on its screenings due to a critical shortage in nursing staff. A reported nine patients or their families have reportedly filed lawsuits so far.
Every year, approximately 200,000 Americans die as a result of medical negligence or medical malpractice. Several hundred thousand others are seriously injured due to errors made by surgeons, doctors, nurses, chiropractors, podiatrists, and other health care providers in nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical and residential care facilities.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider somehow fails to provide the patient with the standard of care that other similarly skilled and similarly located professionals in the same field would have done given the same or similar circumstances. For example, if in a hypothetical case a doctor would ordinarily check an individual’s airway following a coughing episode, and in this case the doctor did not check the airway, and the patient later died due to an easily discoverable obstruction of the airway, there is likely a case for medical malpractice.
Although this case may not seem to be a case of medical malpractice, since it did not involve a misdiagnosis or a surgical procedure gone awry, it could very well likely be considered to be at least a case of medical negligence. The hospital reportedly knew that a certain group of patients was at risk, had the resources to refer the cases out, and failed to keep its hospital staffed to meet the patients’ needs. While there are clearly multiple issues involved in why the errors occurred, the already filed lawsuits suggest that there is evidence to support the fact that legally recognizable harms were suffered.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligent treatment or an error on the part of a
physician or other health care provider, contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. The attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen have extensive experience in representing the victims of medical negligence and medical malpractice victims. Allow us to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today in order to set up your free, no obligation consultation by calling 1-800-654-1949 or through this website.
More Blog Posts:
Cloudy Pool Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 12, 2013
NFL Announces Tentative $765 Million Settlement in Concussion Class Action, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 5, 2013