After mistakenly declaring patient dead, hospital pays $22,000 fine

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2013 | Doctor Errors

When it comes to matters of life and death, it is important for New Mexicans to trust the medical experts. However, doctors and hospital staff members sometimes make mistakes that could potentially end a patient’s life. Thankfully, some victims of doctor negligence survive with little or no injury.

Egregious hospital errors happen regularly, but because they’re not collected and organized in a single database, it is impossible to know exactly how often they occur. Sometimes medical negligence cases don’t surface until years after they occur. Almost four years ago, a woman was admitted to the hospital. She was apparently not conscious but remained alive. Even though hospital staff members had several indications that she was alive, they acted as though she was no longer alive and even told her family that she had died. If the woman had not awakened in time, they would have removed her organs. 

Fortunately, the woman recovered from the incident. The medical error could have been costly for the hospital, but the woman did not file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Instead, the hospital paid fines that totaled only $22,000. It is quite possible that if the woman had filed a lawsuit, the case may have come to light earlier. According to the victim’s mother, she faced severe depression that was unrelated to the incident.

It is important for patients to hold hospitals and doctors accountable for their mistakes. Reporting these errors may help to improve the quality of health care for everyone. People who have been affected by doctor negligence may want to talk to an attorney. 


Yahoo News, “Patient awoke to doctors mistakenly preparing to remove her organs,” Eric Pfeiffer, July 9, 2013


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