Doctors Do More Defensive Medicine After Colleagues Get Sued

Wayne J. Guglielmo, MA

Disclosures

September 23, 2019

In This Article

Children's Paralysis and Death Prompts Reforms at Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital

The families of two children who were paralyzed after surgeries at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg, Florida, will receive settlements of $26 million and $12.75 million, respectively, as a story in the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Last year, the newspaper published an investigation of trouble at the institution's Heart Institute, where death and complication rates had reportedly spiked in recent years, even after supervisors had been warned of problems by frontline workers. After the investigation, several top executives and two surgeons resigned, and regulators demanded top-to-bottom changes. Pediatric heart surgeries have been halted while the hospital restructures the unit. (In May, The New York Times reported on its own investigation of trouble at a University of North Carolina-affiliated heart unit in Chapel Hill.)

The two recent settlements bring the total amount that the hospital has paid out to families whose children were treated at the Heart Institute to more than $40 million. More settlements are expected.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins has pledged to make sweeping changes. These will include "new checks and balances on the hospital's president, more thorough vetting of doctors, and improved monitoring of patient safety and quality metrics."

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