Today we honor the memory of Betty, a victim of an unaccounted for wrongful death in Florida. Her cause of death was not counted as medical error because her family does not have the right to report it as such, according to Florida's Wrongful Death Act, Florida Statute 768.21(8). Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US today. But what if they were all counted? Would medical error be the first leading cause of death?
The WHO (World Health Organization has launched a worldwide initiative to decrease medication errors, a leading cause of death worldwide. The CDC even admits that many medical errors are not accounted for. Yet, in Florida over 1/2 of them continue to go unreported.
Florida - Where patients are dropping like flies
It's time Florida health care law makers got on the ball and
joined the other 49 States in requiring
medical corporations to put patient safety first.
Betty's Wrongful Death
Story submitted by her sister
My big sister, Betty, was in a rehabilitation center because she could no longer keep her balance and was very weak. She was beginning to improve, but on January 10, 2016, all of that changed. She was propped up on the side of her bed, left alone, fell and died 21 days later of a brain bleed.
Per the investigative report by the Agency For Healthcare Administration: "CNA notified LPN of fall. CNA states that she left patient sitting on the side of the bed and when she returned found the patient on the floor." The NEXT day, the CNA submitted a somewhat different hand-written note: "I was assisting patient get dressed to transfer to chair. The patient moved her feet to side of the bed and pulling on the bed rail. I placed my hand on her shoulder, for her not to lean back while she was moving to side of bed. I made sure the patient was secure in sitting position. I grabbed her pants and while I was going to grab "sit and stand" lift by her door, I stopped because I heard patient slide down off bed. Patient stated she slid down and hit her head. I notified nurse on duty immediately."
Talk about changing her story; CNA went from "leaving the patient sitting on side of bed...and when she returned found patient on the floor" to "being near the door to grab "sit and stand" lift and HEARD the patient slide off the bed."
The AHCA also stated in their letter: "The representative(s) found that rules and laws were violated at the time of our visit. The facility received a statement of deficiencies and will be required to correct the deficiencies." My sister laid there with a knot in the center of her head larger than a man's fist. She was in AGONY, but the rehab. center said they could not give Betty anything for the pain because they were not a hospital. Betty was finally taken to a hospice, and given morphine to sleep until her death.
SIXTY-ONE attorneys all said the same thing: "Our decision not to pursue this matter does not mean that a valid claim does not exist. Seek a second opinion from another attorney if you still desire to proceed with the case."
My sister's husband, Ralph, DID begin a suit, but passed away less than 8 weeks after Betty on March 27, 2016.
Then we were told, the suit died with the spouse
and were advised of this Free Kill Law of Florida.
My niece is 28 years old; over 25 years old, so according to the "law," her hands are tied. We were told my mother could press charges, but not one of the SIXTY-ONE lawyers would help in any way. I believe my niece should be compensated some way! She has her medical issues as well and is barely surviving! The "hospital" doctors and staff are 100% protected and 100% responsible for my sister's death. I find it very "funny" that this rehab center that would not administer pain medication to my sister because they were NOT a hospital, but now they ARE a hospital.
The irony...my sister Betty was a nurse all her life and died at the hands of her peers through their neglect. I cannot even describe the pain that still resides within all of us, and will forever. My Mom has gone "downhill" because of all of this, but I shall NEVER put her in a Florida rehab center! As always, the good people suffer and no one will help us. I am beyond disgusted with this horrible, mismanaged, state of Florida.
Kathleen, Carol, and Frances Coelho (sisters and mom)
Sara Brinson, daughter