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Standard of Care Podcast


SOC - Episode 1: Why Law Suits?

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In the very first episode of the Standard of Care Podcast, Nick and Samantha take a look at why lawsuits happen to EMS providers. What makes people sue? We talk about some studies that show the reasons why people might take legal action. How can paramedics and EMTs avoid lawsuits? Please like, comment, and subscribe!


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Show Notes



Vincent C, Young M, Phillips A. Why do people sue doctors? A study of patients and relatives taking legal action. Lancet. 1994 Jun 25;343(8913):1609-13. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(94)93062-7. PMID: 7911925.

This 1994 study surveyed 227 patients and relatives who were taking legal action to find out why patients sue doctors. Many of these findings are equally applicable to EMS. The decision to take legal action was often determined not only by the original injury, but also by insensitive handling and poor communication after the original incident. Main themes noted included: (1) concern with standards of care - both patients and relatives wanted to prevent similar incidents in the future; (2) the need for an explanation - to know how the injury happened and why; (3) compensation - for actual losses, pain and suffering or to provide care in the future for an injured person; and (4) accountability - a belief that the staff or organization should have to account for their actions.



The Top 5 Reasons Patients Sue Doctors (And How to Avoid Getting Sued)

In this November 29, 2018 Advisory Board Daily Briefing, the top reason people sue doctors is to get information. When patients and families feel that providers are not giving them the information, they are more likely to sue. The article also points out that patients often experience an extreme financial and emotional cost when medical injury occurs - an unexpected event can significantly change a patient’s life, as well as the life of his or her family.


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