Electronic Intensive Care Unit, eICU or also known as tele-ICU, is a new technique of monitoring patients, no matter where they are. By use of alarms, cameras, microphones and other tools, a doctor is able to keep a relatively close eye on patients even once out of their physical vicinity. While this is a big step for both patients and doctors everywhere, how reliable is the new technology?
A new documentary reveals a doctor calling out one of his local medical centers as ‘sloppy’, in regard to the use of an electronic Intensive Care Unit. The reporting doctor said that once he completed a surgery on a woman years ago, he had asked the on-call, on-site staff to make sure a doctor was in that evening to check on the woman throughout the night. He later found out, along with the woman’s family, that she suffered brain damage in part due to dangerously low blood pressure that fell during the night. She was supposedly on eICU watch, however no one was monitoring her vitals as closely as they should have. A doctor was only notified and called in once it was a little too late.
Knowing things like this happen under eICU watch, how trustworthy is it? Some companies say they notice a lower quality of work when employees choose to work from home. The option for nurses and doctors to also work remotely may begin to show some parallels to that notion. Without a real person, a real heartbeat in front of a single or team of doctors, it’s possible that the distance creates some sort of withdrawal or sense of detachment. This may begin to play a role in the number of medical malpractice cases that are brought about each year. In many cases, people do not pursue malpractice claims because either they are uncomfortable suing the person who was once seen as their or their families lifeline, or because they simply don’t know enough about filing a claim or that one is even valid.
With more and more artificial intelligence taking place of humans and human responsibilities and jobs, at what point are we able to be so far removed that we there is nowhere for blamed to be placed but on a piece of machinery? eICU is a slippery slope for both patients and doctors to put their trust in. We want to believe that it will provide more supervision and less oversight, but the results are just not clear enough yet. If doctors and medical providers, even the companies behind our new technology, continue to provide sloppy and less-than-standard care, medical malpractice cases will have a whole new meaning to them.
If you or a family member suffered injuries, misdiagnoses or death due to faulty technology, including eICU, do not hesitate to take action. You and your family deserve the best care possible and, of course, justice. Our team of attorneys will help guide you through this difficult time with clarity and compassion. To seek our consult, give us a call today.