For years we have heard the following from families across western Virginia: My sister went in for a routine procedure, and now she is in ICU on a ventilator. I don’t know what happened, but something did.
We hear the phrase routine procedure, and we, as patients think – risk free. safe. no likelihood of complication. But really, all routine means is that the procedure is done to patients all the time. It doesn’t mean there is no risk from either human error, or, just basic risk.
- We have evaluated cases regarding a routine colonoscopy that leads to perforation, infection, death, etc.
- Helped families where a routine c-section is done too late, resulting in serious injury or brain damage to the child.
- We know of routine cardiac catheterizations that lead to serious injury because a vessel is punctured causing uncontrollable bleeding.
- We have recovered for patient with post-operative infection from simple routine operation that, diagnosed, caused life altering injury and medical bills.
And let’s not forget medications and whether they carry any risks. There is no such thing as a risk free medication.
So when we hear of awful life altering mistakes or negligence causing a routine procedure to become a health care emergency or nightmare, we are sadly not surprised.
We are saddened. And worried, and compelled to act, but not surprised.
Healthcare is and always should be anything BUT routine.