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Call for more discussion of medical errors

People in Louisiana and around the nation have recently watched and heard about the celebrations remembering the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon. To everyone, this was a momentous event in history indeed. One might believe that a person as celebrated in American history as Mr. Armstrong would only receive the highest level of medical care throughout his lifetime. Unfortunately, it seems that this is not what he experienced at the end of his life.

In 2012, the former astronaut was exhibiting symptoms that indicated some form of heart disease and he went to a hospital for care. The medical staff made the choice to immediately have the man undergo a cardiac bypass operation. To some, this decision was questionable and may have been an all-out error. As he was recovering, another potential error occurred when he was transferred to a catheterization lab instead of back to surgery when he began bleeding excessively. 

According to Modern Healthcare, the man’s family sued the hospital for medical malpractice after his death and agreed to remain silent regarding the matter in exchange for a roughly $6 million settlement. This, however, is not what many people to be the best outcome.

Instead of offering money for silence, health care systems are encouraged to openly discuss and even admit their mistakes in order to move safety forward, protect patients and elevate staff members professionally. There are many medical facilities and systems across the country that are adopting this approach and many hope this trend continues.



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