In a shocking study, it's been shown that more medical malpractice claims are being made for finding patients dead in their beds, according to a Dec. 22 news report. The story states that these deaths often involve those who have recently undergone a successful surgery and were moved to a room on a general floor for recovery. These individuals were judged to have the lowest risk of complications, yet they were being discovered dead within hours of the operation.
What happened to cause these relatively healthy individuals to pass away? It's believed that the use of opioid painkillers, drugs that can deprive the brain of oxygen by suppressing the respiratory system, play a role. Medical experts reviewing patient information have estimated that 50,000 or more patients have been impacted by the use of these drugs, with many suffering from severe brain injuries or death.
The number of cases involving respiratory depression has been called concerning, and for cases that involve medical malpractice claims, victims and their families can receive payouts of $7 million or higher for the significant damage that has been done.
What's positive is that the majority of these malpractice claims and injuries are preventable. By using continuous electronic monitoring to view the patients' oxygen levels, it's possible to know if a patient is suffering from respiratory distress. Unfortunately, few hospitals employ this technology.
The risks of these drugs are known. If your loved one has suffered a brain injury or passed away, you could be entitled to compensation. Your attorney can give you more information on the possibility of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Source: News 5 Cleveland, "'Dead in Bed' cases result in rising malpractice lawsuits nationwide," Ron Regan, Dec. 22, 2016