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Medical Malpractice in St. Louis

I remember as a young lawyer, a deposition preparation meeting I was having with a medical expert in a Missouri wrongful death and medical malpractice case. We were discussing the tragic and preventable death of a 36 year old man from bacterial pneumonia. The case was against a Missouri hospital and its emergency room (ER) doctor – the ER doctor, you see, kept sending this young man home despite his repeated attempts to seek medical care at the hospital ER over the Christmas and New Year holidays, the peak time for bacterial pneumonia to strike patients.

The critical care expert said something that I will never forget, and at the time as a young lawyer I just chuckled about it, “If you want to stay healthy, stay OUT of the hospital!” Those words have stayed with me over the years since that meeting and deposition. As funny as those words may have seemed to me at the time...they are sadly and tragically on at least a certain level, in certain cases, 100% true.

Let me make myself clear – I am not a true believer. What do I mean by that, you ask? I mean that I simply do not believe that health care providers – doctors, nurses, chiropractors, aides, and yes even hospitals, HMOs and nursing homes – are all evil, all bad or all incompetent. Now, I once may have believed that the health care providers I was suing on behalf of Missouri medical malpractice victims were incompetent; but even that sentiment has given way over the years to a more reasoned and I think simple thought process. Simply put, health care providers are just like you and me – they are human. And, by our very nature, we humans make mistakes; boy, do we! Now, in my job as a Missouri and St. Louis medical malpractice and medical negligence attorney, my mistakes, omissions and oversights do not cost my clients their limbs or their lives.

Health Care Providers Should Be Accountable For Malpractice

Unfortunately, because health care providers have chosen to enter the field and profession that they have, they must understand and should appreciate that their mistakes, their omissions, their oversights can and often times will cause patients real, irreversible and devastating harm. That is a fact. Whether health care providers accept that fact is a different blog discussion altogether. That is why conscientious health care providers (just like conscientious automobile owners out there) should and do carry medical and nursing malpractice insurance – to protect the negligent health care provider, its employer, and their patients when that unthinkable occasion occurs, and a medical mistake causes harm.

I understand that some health care providers altruistically say they do what they do, because they want to help others. That is quite frankly why I do what I do – to help others... and I love what I do. However, if doing what I do meant not being able to pay my bills, or feed my wife and children, then the truth is that I would be doing something else that did. There is no shame in that. The reality is that many, if not the overwhelming majority, of the medical and health care professionals out there decide to do what they do because they love what they do (operate on hearts, brains, broken bones, take care of ER patients in a fast-paced environment, provide nursing care to newborns, help deliver babies, etc.), and because that job pays them very, very well.

Now, back to the experts words that I remember so well. I was reminded of those words recently, as I was reading a CNN article chronicling the 10 most often made and most preventable medical mistakes. No matter where you live, if you want to avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice, you need to read this story. Reading it will likely not prevent a doctor or nurse from making a mistake, however, it will give you vital information to try to protect you and your loved ones.

If you live in Missouri or the St. Louis area, and believe you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice or medical negligence, please contact Millikan Wright LLC at (314) 621-0622 or on the web at www.millikanwright.com.

Categories: Medical Malpractice

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