From the June 19, 2016 Seattle Times comes this story of a 45-year-old Bellevue man paralyzed three years ago due to errors at Overlake Hospital’s emergency room. August de los Reyes suffered injuries that broke his back and nearly severed his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, The Times said.
The former head of design for Xbox was awarded more than $20 million in March 2016, after he sued Overlake and the physicians group and imaging center that treated him. But as part of his settlement, he must be included in the hospital’s efforts to improve patient-safety protocols.
“I envision understanding what really happened and what broke down,” de los Reyes told The Times, adding he hopes to eventually discover tools and processes that can improve communication.
Medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, claiming approximately 251,000 lives annually. It’s surpassed only by heart disease (614,348) and cancer (591,699), according to a new study published in the medical journal BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal).