Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Man seeks medical malpractice attorneys in mom's death

A man is suing a Pennsylvania hospital because he claims that a fault in their digital health records system caused his mother's death. He had taken his mother to the hospital because she was showing symptoms of a stroke. After the facility admitted her, the man, who is a doctor, checked the hospital's digital records to confirm that her necessary heart medication was listed. It was; however, when she began to have heart problems, he double checked the chart and was shocked to see the medication had been removed. She ended up having emergency surgery because of blood clotting but died anyway.

While electronic health records provide physicians with quick and easy access to their patients' data, the computerized systems can be fraught with new errors that may have dangerous results. For example, errors in electronic systems may increase the risk of incorrect prescriptions or unnecessary surgeries. There are chances that information can be entered incorrectly; however, doctor error might play a significant role, especially if the system has only been recently installed.

Software companies that manufacture computerized digital medical records systems are not required to report deaths or serious injuries concerning their products to the FDA. However, other manufacturers of medical devices are. Therefore, except for voluntary reports, very little is known about the risks of such hi-tech systems. Lack of government oversight regarding these systems may leave facilities and physicians open to medical error.

Computer error can create a multitude of issues in a healthcare environment; however, doctor error due to digital medical records systems could have devastating consequences. User error or faulty equipment can result in worsened conditions, permanent disability, or even death. Those who suffer injuries or families of those who are killed due to medical errors may benefit from the assistance of medical malpractice attorneys. An attorney may be able to secure compensation to cover medical costs and pain and suffering.

Source: Bloomberg, "Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems", Jordan Robertson, June 25, 2013

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