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Woman Survives Fall, Receives Substandard Hospital Care

Victor Lewin - Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nova Scotia patients may have heard that, when an elderly woman fell down a long flight of stairs and slipped into a coma in November 2010, doctors' prognosis was not good. She suffered numerous brain hemorrhages, for which doctors declined to operate. She woke from her coma within a few days, but she then suffered a cardiac arrest that caused further brain damage. She was given an emergency tracheostomy and a stomach feeding tube to keep her alive, and doctors warned that she would not survive the ordeal.

The 89-year-old woman continued to survive despite numerous unspecified medical errors and incidents after being transferred to another hospital. Doctors continued to say that she would not survive long. Her family became actively involved in monitoring her condition and medication level and found that she was prescribed doses in excess of recommended levels as well as conflicting medications. Once they sorted these issues out, her condition was said to have improved faster.

The woman's daughter has gathered stories from all around the world suggesting that hospitals, far from being perfect centers for health, need to be monitored and kept in line in order to provide adequate care. She said that the medical errors could have ended her mother's life if not for family intervention.

Hospital patients are frequently subject to standard human errors, but not caring for a patient because doctors believe that he or she won't survive goes beyond that. A personal injury lawyer may provide assistance in taking legal action when faced with hospital injuries, prescription errors and other medical malpractice issues.

Source: Huffington Post, "How My Elderly Mother Survived Canada's Botched Healthcare System", Kathleen Finlay, November 15, 2013

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