Monday, December 30, 2013

The Tonsillectomy

Just My Opinion

A child goes in for atonsillectomy and comes out of surgery “brain dead”.  The family wants answers, the hospital wants to disconnect her from life support.  The family wants to move the child to another facility. The hospital wants to disconnect her from life support.
This story is eerily similar to another case I know intimately.  Over 20 years ago my only child at the time went in for a tonsillectomy.  He didn’t come out brain dead but he did die a week later from blood loss after 4 different doctors on 5 different occasions told me don’t worry, the bleeding stopped and he’s fine.  What an awful way to prove doctors wrong. (By the way, I have had about 10 calls over the years from families who lost a loved one from a tonsillectomy)
This is another opportunity to show not only how dangerous surgery, including the tonsillectomy is, but it also shows that there is a problem with communication between the patient (in this case family) medical providers and the press.

Here are my thoughts.  There are 24 hours in a day.  There is a lot more happening in that 24 hours than the media is telling us.  We aren’t getting the whole story.  What I am getting is that this family is not getting the answers they want nor are they getting the respect they deserve.  If they were, chances are they would never go to the press and if they were, the press wouldn't be interested.
If in fact, this was a medical injury, caused by the care she received, it would be great if the hospital did everything and anything the family wanted - including keep her heart pumping, get her to a different facility and get counseling for the family and staff.  But, it is probably too costly to do that.  Plus a medical malpractice case would cost more if she does live and needs more, long term care.
I would think that this would be a great case for medical mediation.  The family, the hospital and their lawyers would need to approve of a conversation / dialogue to each be heard.  What are the needs of each involved?  Honest, open, confidential dialogue that can be kept out of the press should be part of the families and lawyers suggestion.   If in fact this is a local hospital, that this family may need again, why would they want to be wrapped up in a lawsuit for years?
Through mediation, the family can ask for financial compensation an apology, answers and even a way to make sure someone learns from what happened and not close it away someplace so patients can’t learn nor can the medical system learn. 
I wish they had that available 20 years ago.