When a lawsuit is filed in the aftermath of a child being born with an injury–including things like cerebral palsy, erb’s palsy, and similar conditions–it is usually because the medical team involved in the birth did not follow proper protocols which might have prevented the harm. When these accidents strike, a child is often forced to spend the rest of their lives grappling with the consequences of the error. In some cases the error is fatal and a new life is snuffed out before having a chance at all.
Sadly, these birth errors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to medical mistakes that strike across the country. As our attorneys have often pointed out, reports indicate that upwards of 100,000 deaths every year in the U.S. may be attributed to medical mistakes of one kind or another. These are staggering numbers that have not declined even though the problem has been documented for decades.
Clearly more awareness is needed to push for change. It is with the goal of awareness that a new documentary film focused on medical errors is attracting Kickstarter donors. Kickstarter is the web’s most popular crowdfunding site where anyone can easily money to help support various projects.
The Wall of Silence
The latest med mal documentary project (View Here) is entitled “Breaking the Wall of Silence.” According to the description of the project, the goals include raising awareness of the scope of the problem as well as sharing information on those who are working to turn things around. For those of us working on situations where medical mistakes cause severe harm, those goals are obviously welcomed and supported.
The filmmakers explain how estimates suggest that nearly 100,000 patients are killed each and every year as a result of preventable medical errors. But, unlike other industries, the medical community has not made much of a dent in the injury rate over the last few decades. Comparisons are often made with the aviation industry, where intense standardizations and safeguards have drastically cut the number of aviation deaths over the years. Many have called for a similar focus on minimizing harm in the medical world. Yet, much work is needed before that goal is reached.
Fixing The Problem
Besides offering various real-world examples and first-person stories to highlight the problem, the filmmakers hope to share information on medical professionals who are working to address the problem. For example, the Kickstarter page mentions Dr. David Mayer, a patient safety leader who is working to change the way mistakes are responded to and ultimately prevented. His general focus is on documenting best practices in a range of capacities so that we have a clear of what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to safety protocols that limit unnecessary patient injury.
In fact, a focus of the film is following Dr. Mayer as he develops and implements a new strategy at various hospitals all with the goal of minimizing medical errors. The film crew plans to film the entire “journey,” providing fascinating perspective on how mistakes can be addressed in the future.
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