Blake Fought of Blacksburg, Virginia, was a 19-year-old with an illness that required that he be hospitalized and given liquids and nutrition through an IV line placed through his neck. When he had recovered from his illness and was ready to go home, the hospital sent a nurse to remove the IV line. Unfortunately, the nurse had never been properly trained to remove such a line and she did not follow proper procedure. When Blake began to gasp for air, the nurses failed to respond, telling Blake he was anxious and needed to calm down. Due to the improper procedure, a bubble of air had entered Blake’s blood vessels and traveled to his heart. In front of the nurses and his own parents, who were there to take their son home, Blake asphyxiated and died.

According to the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors – and this number doesn’t include those seriously injured. This is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

By removing legal accountability, attention to safety will go down and more people will suffer injuries and death from negligent care and unsafe products. The best way to have fewer medical negligence cases is to reduce the number of medical errors. Tell Congress to put patient safety first – there are 98,000 reasons why you should.

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