by Makenna Blevins
My mom got extremely sick for three years. During that final third year, anybody with working eyes could see that something was severely wrong with my mom. My mom has many health conditions including fibromyalgia, POTS, diabetes, and gastroparesis. She went to a lot of doctors, hospitals, and ERs and told them about the intense pain she was feeling, and they either couldn’t figure out what was wrong or didn’t believe her. She could barely walk or get up. Even going to the bathroom was hard for her. She lost an extreme amount of weight and looked like she was on her deathbed. It was terrifying to watch your mom become so ill and can’t do anything to help her and doctors wouldn’t help her. She was put on IVs and had a home healthcare nurse come to our house to help her. Her doctor prescribed her medication for a UTI and that medication ended up saving her life. Something that was meant for something else so small ended up helping her so much more than for its intended use. Not long after she started taking the medication she went to the ER again but this time they found out that her appendix had burst and had been like that for months. The entire time she had been going to the doctors about the pain, her appendix was burst and nobody figured it out until months later. The medicine for the UTI ended up encasing her appendix and saved her life. They removed her appendix and soon after the surgery, she became healthy again. She started gaining weight again and could actually walk again. Due to her other medical condition, she will never be what she once was but the way she is now due to the IVs and the surgery is a tremendous difference from those three years.
The problem is medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is when a health care provider or healthcare professional neglects to provide appropriate care whether it’s treatment, failure to take the right action, or if treatment causes harm or injury (6). It’s not uncommon for an appendix to burst and nobody did the proper test to figure out what was wrong or they just didn’t believe her. It’s not uncommon for a woman to be pushed off as being dramatic, hysterical, or faking but there was a life-threatening problem that they refused to help. They could have killed my mom because of malpractice. They didn’t try diagnosing her with anything else. They just sent her off in the extreme pain she was in. 25,000 to 120,000 people die due to medical malpractice each year (3). 4:1 people are subjected to medical malpractice death or injuries in a hospital (3).
There are already laws on medical malpractice and there have been since the 1800s (2). Law’s have gotten better and typically each malpractice case is under the authority of the state instead of the federal government (2). The only way today to fix this problem is to fight for yourself and sue whoever neglected you. You can get a lawyer or medical malpractice attorneys like ABPLA-certified legal malpractice attorneys (1). To be able to be acknowledged by law is for you to prove your neglect whether it is a violation of standard care, injury caused by neglect, or injury resulting in significant damage (1). A way you could help today is to share either your own or someone you know’s stories to spread awareness of medical malpractice. There are online organizations to share your malpractice story. National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA) helps people get the resources they need for their cases (4). NAMMA was founded by a woman who lost her daughter to medical malpractice (4). NAMMA helps people file their medical board complaints, and get an attorney or patient advocate (4). If you would like to take the time to donate, here is the link to donate to NMMAA (5). Spread awareness, protest, and educate the people on how much harm has been caused. We need to teach future health occupations to do better for the number of medical malpractice numbers to go down. From my mom’s personal experience we did not sue anyone, used an attorney or lawyer because our problem was eventually taken care of although it could’ve ended way worse and was prolonged way more than it should have been. Because of what happened I take malpractice very seriously and am trying to go into the healthcare field and hopefully make it better. My family shares this story as an example to educate and spread awareness of the problem of medical malpractice.
1-What is Medical Malpractice. American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice
2-An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628513/
3-Medical Malpractice… By the Numbers. Civil Justice Resource Group. https://centerjd.org/cjrg/Numbers.pdf
4-What We Do. National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMMAA).
5-Donate to National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association. Giving Way.
6-What Is Medical Malpractice. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248175