A cancer patient presented to the University Hospital Coventry in England to have her kidney removed as part of her cancer treatment; tragically, the mother of three passed away two days after the operation. The woman allegedly died due to a medical error in which the blood supply from two arteries was cut off, which was not supposed to be a part of the procedure. This fact was never reported to the woman’s family. The family only learned of these allegations after BBC received an anonymous tip and informed the family. In addition, the hospital reportedly did not report any error to the coroner’s office. The hospital wrote to the woman’s family and apologized “for the distress that they have suffered.” The hospital also said that the coroner was immediately notified of the death in a detailed report. The coroner’s office, however, stated that “the hospital did not make the coroner aware of any surgical error at the time of death or subsequently until the matter was brought to the coroner’s attention by solicitors for the family.”
As a law firm dedicated to protecting the interests of victims of medical malpractice, it is very disturbing to learn of these allegations of unreported errors. Fortunately, both federal and Pennsylvania state laws require hospitals and physicians to report unexpected events involving death or serious bodily injury. These letters, also called Patient Safety Letters, are sent directly to the patient affected and do little more than report that an incident occurred. These letters are, however, extremely important and often times have been generated because of someone’s negligence. If you or a loved one have received any form of communication from a healthcare provider reporting that an “event” occurred, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel. Rosen Louik & Perry recognizes the risks involved in surgery, and patients and their families have a right to know exactly what happened when something goes wrong. Serious medical errors and fraudulent activity that result in serious injuries and death should never occur. As a medical malpractice law firm, we encourage any victims of this conduct to seek legal redress.