New Jersey Civil Rights Trial Lawyer Discusses Briana Aguirre, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and Ebola
Or… If They Can’t Get This Right, Imagine How Much Medical Malpractice Actually Takes Place That Isn’t Addressed.
I know everyone’s terrified of Ebola, and with good cause. It’s a killer virus. On the other hand, the zombie apocalypse hasn’t quite arrived yet, so let’s talk about some of the stories behind the big “scary” story.
Nurse Briana Aguirre, who cared for her friend and coworker Nina Pham after Nina tested positive for the Ebola virus, appeared on Today With Matt Lauer on Thursday, October 16. She said that while she thought very highly of the hospital generally, she could “no longer defend” the hospital’s having dropped the ball on Ebola.
For example, she said that the hospital violated “basic principles of nursing” and that she felt going to the hospital might infect someone with Ebola, which is exactly, sort of, the opposite of what’s supposed to happen at hospitals.
Well, not so much. One of the main areas of medical malpractice today is a hospital’s failure to observe medical protocols concerning prevention and spread of infection like MRSA, C-Diff and E. Coli, just to name a few.
Only about eight percent of all medical malpractice that takes place in the United States ever goes to court and only about eight percent of those ever result in jury verdicts holding wrongdoers accountable. That’s less than one in hundred cases of malpractice, if you’re doing the math.
Not that stops medical malpractice insurance companies and their sometimes ignorant insured doctors (who become terrified at what the insurance companies tell them) from spreading a false panic about a “crisis” (that doesn’t really exist) concerning medical malpractice claims and the “high cost” of medical care.
Every time we turn around, there’s agitation to protect bad medical practices and bad medical practitioners, on the theory that beggars can’t be choosers. There’s an immunity bill pending in New Jersey, for example, which would protect doctors who volunteer at clinics. You know what that means, right? It means that when doctors treat poor people, the only people that are going to go to free clinics, they don’t have to be as careful as when they treat not poor people, because they’re immunized for the consequences of their malpractice with their poor patients.
How is that fair? How does that make sense? How is that American? How is that just?
We’re not really talking, as you might have guessed by now, about Ebola. What we are talking about is if something as big as Ebola doesn’t make the hospital careful enough to prevent that infection, then what the hell is this “world class” hospital doing about other less “spreadable” infections? How about hospitals that aren’t self-proclaimed “world class” facilities?
Everyone needs great healthcare. Healthcare practitioners work hard, and they’re trained hard to do good work; most of them do. But the solution to getting better healthcare in America is not immunizing healthcare professionals, ignoring standards, and then offering protection to those who commit the wrongful acts. It’s holding them accountable, making sure that the jury process is available to victims, and inspiring, through litigation, people to be at their best when these highly compensated healthcare professionals practice their art.
Think about that the next time you go to a hospital. If they’re not concerned about Ebola protocols, where else are they “dropping the ball?”