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New film highlights patient risks

People in Maryland who find out that they must undergo a surgical procedure can understandably be nervous about this. In addition to concerns about the problem for which the surgery is recommended, patients today must also contend with the possibility than an error might happen during or after the operation. In recent years, it has come to light that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. This makes it important that patients advocate for themselves, either directly or via an appointed representative.

As reported by National Public Radio, there is a new documentary that has been released that highlights some of the reasons people need to be proactive in their own health care. The film, titled "Bleed Out", is about the mother of the man who made the film and was inspired by her very unfortunate experiences. Nearly a decade ago, the woman underwent an operation to replace one of her hips and has never been the same since.

Post surgery, the woman was placed in an intensive care unit that was not staffed by doctors but instead by cameras and other electronic devices. These devices were supposed to be remotely monitored by physicians in another location. For more than a day, the woman was in a coma and her son's request to confirm that the monitoring devices were on and working were denied.

The woman lost more than 50 percent of her blood which contributed to an extended coma and eventual permanent brain damage and reduced motor functioning. Prior knowledge of the care may have allowed the woman to know what would happen after her surgery and appoint someone to watch over her.




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