Thursday, December 24, 2009

Doctor Forgot About Patient

I read an article on the KPRC website where a woman woke up in her doctor’s office after day surgery only to find her team of care givers had gone home for the day. She’s retained an attorney because of a lingering anxiety attacks; either that or the desire to strike it rich in the civil court’s lottery system.

You can read the whole story , a real shame that it happened; but does this kind of issue really belong in a court room or would it be better served some other way? I guess the times dictate litigation, wouldn’t want to settle things with a hand shake or a simple apology when there’s an opportunity to strike it rich.

Several years ago my back was giving me grief so I went by the chiropractor’s office for a session. They had me relax with the Tens Unit working away, electronic pads stuck to various muscle groups along my back in a dark secluded treatment room. That was supposed to last a little over ten minutes; maybe that’s why they call it a Tens Unit, naaahhh.

While I was drifting with the pulsations I heard a commotion of energies being directed toward a more serious issue. Some guy had been in a traffic accident and needed quite a bit of attention; one of the technicians poked her head in and let me know it would be a few extra minutes and I acknowledged the reasonable delay.

About an hour went by, having woken from a blissful nap under a warm blanket in the darkness, when I realized that more than a “few minutes” had passed. It was late in the evening and time to get back home as I got my street clothes back on. When I went out into the office area the look on the technicians face told me everything I needed to know; they’d forgotten I was waiting for an adjustment.

The thought never occurred to me, “Call 911” or retain a lawyer; no, that’s not how I was brought up. The chiropractor and team of technicians were embarrassed for the slip up and made it a point to explain how the visit, along with the next would be “on the house”. She couldn’t have been more sincere; perhaps fearing I might be unreasonable with a tendency toward litigation.

Things being as they are, congress will come up with a law stipulating the need for a medical assistant or technician to hold the hand of each patient from the moment they enter a treatment facility to the time they are out the front door, much the same as hospital policies requiring that patients leave the hospital in wheel chairs, even when patients are quite capable of walking on their own two legs; lawyers and litigation!

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