Michigan readers may have read news coverage of a horrific medical condition experienced by a man who underwent a surgical procedure to install a penile implant. The case has made headlines across the nation, and while the details may make some chuckle, the ordeal has taken a toll on the patient and his family. They are now before a court to argue their medical malpractice case.
When most people go to the doctor's office or a hospital, they are confident in entrusting the medical professionals with their care. Most Michigan residents know, however, that it is important to bring an advocate with you--a friend or a family member who can act as a go-between for the patient and doctors or nurses if necessary. Unfortunately, these advocates often do not know what they should do other than visit with the patient, and patients themselves are often not told how to avoid getting sicker in the hospital.
The statistics surrounding medical malpractice in Michigan and throughout the U.S. are disturbing. In fact, according to a recent column in the Wall Street Journal, 40 patients each week go into surgery only to have a surgeon operate on the wrong body part. And these errors are not limited to the operating room. About one quarter of hospitalized patients are harmed by a medical mistake.