Lately, it seems like every time I browse the web there's a story about how medical negligence or error has cost a person their life.
This terrifies me because I once nearly lost my brother after doctors at the ER misdiagnosed his condition.
Instead of running the proper tests, he was simply told to take some painkillers and apply ice to the area that was affected by a hard fall he sustained. Two days later, he woke up with a swollen face, and upon returning to the hospital, he was told that he had fractured his jaw and it has since become infected.
Luckily, they were able to control the spread of the bacteria before it got worse. Sadly, not everyone is as lucky as my brother.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a five-week-old baby, Blayke, died after a hospital turned her away, citing over-capacity as a reason. She had been experiencing breathing problems which eventually led to her being diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an infection that affects the lungs and respiratory tract, but manifests itself with cold-like symptoms.
The newborn's physician downplayed the seriousness of her condition, and that was a huge mistake.
Unfortunately, similar cases have been occurring more often than they really should, and a 13-year-old boy from Mount Morris, Michigan is the latest victim.
Marquel Brumley had no underlying health conditions when he started showing signs of a cold in mid-February. Since this season's flu strain has been deadly, his mother took him to the hospital after his symptoms worsened.
As the story usually goes, the teen was told that the infection will run its course, and clear on its own. Sure enough, nearly all of his symptoms eventually went away, but the two that remained ended up costing him his life.
In addition to the sniffles that persisted, Marquel was experiencing piercing headaches. The pain was so bad that that he was forced to go to the ER twice.
On his first visit, he was told to take over-the-counter painkillers to soothe the headache, which they believed were migraines. He would get relief for a few hours a day before the pain returned and worsened.
A second trip to the ER
The second trip to the emergency room was a little more effective as he was prescribed a cocktail of migraine pills, including an antihistamine and more painkillers. He was also given fluids since he was not eating or drinking well at the time.
Over the next few days, the family was relieved to see that Marquel was doing better, but sadly that was only temporary. At the beginning of March, his condition became so serious that he woke up one morning with swollen eyes and unable to move the muscles in the left side of his face.
Once again, Marquel was rushed to the ER, and that's when the doctors finally realized just how sick he was.