The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which oversees the state's prisons, has agreed to a $350,000 settlement for a claim made by a former inmate for failure to diagnose a herniation of his spine. The victim was incarcerated at the Belmont Correctional Institution in 2008 when he visited the prison's physician for numbness of his left leg and weakness in his left hand. At the time, the prison physician recommended an electromyogram and a nerve conduction study rather than an MRI of the cervical spine. The MRI had been recommended by an emergency room physician but was not performed until seven weeks after the initial tests, at which time the spine herniation was discovered. The prisoner filed a lawsuit alleging that the prison doctor failed to properly diagnose his condition by refusing to perform the recommended test.
Medical mistakes and hospital errors increase when Ohio nurses and doctors suffer from fatigue. The Ohio Joint Commission, which licenses hospitals, reports that many medical personnel work 12-hour shifts or even longer on a regular basis. These extreme work hours increase the likelihood that a person will make a medical error when addressing patients' needs.Nurses, in particular, often extend their shifts beyond the scheduled 12 hours. This happens when patients have pressing medical needs or are unstable. Concerns from the commission include a decrease in empathy from nurses and lapses in decision-making skills when the nurse is exhausted. Ohio and local Hamilton County officials are working to improve both medical personnel and patient experiences in the region's hospitals.
Medical malpractice cases typically involve a health care professional who has either willfully or negligently breached the trust between them and the patient. Indeed, these kinds of cases often arise because a doctor or a nurse made a careless mistake that injured a patient, or even caused a patient to die. In one especially tragic incident, a 7-month-old baby died following a hospital mistake at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.The 7-month-old had been admitted to the hospital for heart surgery. However, it was later discovered that instead of placing a saline solution into the baby's body, alcohol was accidentally put in instead. That in turn caused the baby's organs to fail. The 7-month-old tragically died on Aug. 21, 2010 due to a mistake that should not have happened.