There are a lot of great things you can say about the state of Ohio. I mean, tomato juice is the state’s official beverage. How great is that? The state’s official insect is the 7-spot ladybug. Hey, they’ve even got an official Rock Song, the 1964 hit Hang On Sloopy, per House Concurrent Resolution 16 (November 20, 1985), which said, among other things:
"WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the baby boom generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously...
Gotta love Ohio. Except if you’re a patient there, unfortunately. Here’s just a sampling of some pretty horrific stories we saw this week about Ohio patients:
Akron ob/gyn Dr. John Black, “squirted some liquid from a spray bottle marked ‘vinegar’ onto [his patient Laura’s] sex organs and into her vaginal canal” but it was actually “potassium hydroxide, a chemical found in drain cleaner, that can decompose human flesh.” She compared her tortuous pain that followed to “an open cut with rubbing alcohol being poured into it.” Dr. Black then proceeded to try to “irrigate the burned area with three bottles of saline solution” while applying “a cream inside her to numb the pain -- without wearing gloves.”
Laura and Paul [her husband] have filed a malpractice suit against Black and his employer, Paragon Health Associates. The company denies all their allegations …
Laura said she experiences ongoing, irregular bleeding as a result of Black's actions and is no longer able to have sex with her husband. She also said she hoped to have more children, but now believes she will need a hysterectomy, the Daily Mail reported.
By the way, Dr. Black is exactly the kind of negligent doctor who benefits directly from Ohio’s cruel “tort reform” law (which we last covered here), which includes severe compensation caps for exactly the kind of harm suffered by tortured and mutilated patients like Laura.
Here's another problem: nurse understaffing. CNN reported this week about the case of "[a]n Ohio man whose wife died in a car accident earlier this year [who] is suing the hospital where she was a nurse, claiming she was 'worked to death,' and that the hospital knew about it.” The hospital was so understaffed that she was "one of the few nurses qualified to work the unit's dialysis machines” and kept being called in.
"It needs to change. These nurses cannot be treated this way," Jim Jasper told CNN affiliate WCPO, referring to the conditions he says led to his wife's death. "They can't continue to work these nurses and expect them to pick up the slack because they don't want to staff the hospitals."…
"Chronic understaffing is rampant throughout hospitals around the country," said Bonnie Castillo, the union's government relations director. "It is probably the single biggest issue facing nurses nowadays, and it's not only affecting nurses, but patient health as well."…
Jasper's lawsuit claims that hospital staffers, including his wife's supervisor, were aware of the staffing problems and alerted the hospital's parent company, Mercy Health Group. Her supervisor expressed concern to superiors that Beth Jasper was being "worked to death," yet the hospital did nothing to deal with the staffing issue, the suit said.
And early this week, the Dayton Daily News reported on a Cox Media Group nationwide investigation, which found that “the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid out roughly $845 million in malpractice cases during the past 10 years — a period that has seen the agency face scrutiny for giving bonuses to medical professionals who provided or oversaw substandard care.”
Here’s one typical story:
“I found out by reading the reports, which were thick as a book, on the things that they didn’t do,” said Virginia Pennington, who said the Dayton VA, where her husband Charles died, did not fess up.
Charles went into the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well, and a blood test led to a liver biopsy. It seemed a routine procedure, so Virginia went home. When her phone rang the next morning, she assumed it was her husband letting her know how it went. Instead it was the hospital informing her he was dead.
“And so I didn’t get to talk to him,” she said. “Maybe if I would have been there I would have known they weren’t taking care of him, and it could be corrected at that time.”
The blood thinner the Air Force veteran was on led him to bleed to death in a hospital room where he wasn’t checked on for hours after his surgery, she said.
“The records said he was supposed to be checked every half hour,” she said, “and the records said, when we received them, that they hadn’t checked on him at all.”
Pennington settled for a $150,000 payout.
Ohio attorney Stephen O’Keefe, who specializes in VA malpractice claims, said he expects the dollar amount to rise as the VA handles a younger population returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. More money is awarded if the affected veteran is younger.
“I think you will continue to see an uptick in payouts,” O’Keefe said. “In an ideal world, I would like to see my job go away, where people don’t need an attorney to assist them when they have been injured by a physician or a nurse. But the reality is that’s never going to happen.
Not in Ohio, at least.