Okay good news.
I called my numb patient the next day and he was fine. Totally un numb.
Okay after I got off the ground from thanking the Lord for taking this from me I had a chance to think.
I got all my assistants together and told them I will no longer be giving blocks with Septocaine.
So that is the end of that.
Did I tell you how great that REALITY thing was?
I wrote to the Forum and asked what they thought of Septocaine and I got 6 responses from "Experts". Awesome.
Anyway this little incident made me think of my malpractice insurance and attorneys and all that.
I think it is always in the back of our mind. You know...a lawsuit.
We do the best we can most of the time and treat people great. We have checks and balances to make sure our quality is always up. We hire people that understand that doing the best is of the utmost importance.
But it is always in the back of our mind.
I usually get a letter from an attorney about 4 times a year for things unrelated to my practice but every time I see letterhead from an attorney I start to sweat.
"OH, NO!! This is the big one. This is the letter that is going to change my life"
And I open it and it is an advertisement for a home in the neighborhood in foreclosure.
Or it is an attorney looking for records of a mutual patient that is investigating someone else.
I remember my father getting a hand delivered letter from an attorney and him saying out loud, "Oh no." And it was 4 sky box tickets to the Magic game given to us by one of our attorney patients. (He should no better than to send a dentist a hand delivered letter).
Have I had a couple of scares? Yes.
Do you ever make mistakes? Yes.
I mean I have broken a couple of files in teeth doing root canals.
I have left some roots in the bone because I couldn't retrieve them.
I have numbed up the wrong side.
Things like this...but one thing I ALWAYS do is tell the patient. I always tell them the truth. I always say, "This is what happened....".
But as you know there is always one.
13 years and one "real" letter.
I remember this guy like it was yesterday.
This guy was one of a kind. He really stood out. He was the type of guy you think might sue you.
I am talking about the kind of guy that doesn't respect the people trying to help them.
He was mean to my assistant and just plain rude.
This was about 7 years ago and I still remember the guy (and I have a terrible memory).
I even remember the tooth I worked on.
I remember specifically that my assistant came into my office after he was gone and said that this was the kind of guy that would sue me.
This being the case I wrote everything down. I wrote exact words he said. I wrote when his appointment was and when he showed up. EVERYTHING.
He was nasty when I was working on him and he was nasty when it was over.
I called him that night to see how he was doing and he said he was still numb. And then he even got nastier.
I worked on an upper tooth so I wasn't concerned about the type of anesthetic I used but I was just concerned for him.
I told him I wanted to keep an open line of communication with him so I can make sure he was okay.
After this conversation he never picked up the phone again.
A couple of months went by and I got a letter from an oral surgeon saying that this dude came to see him for a parathesia problem.
I called the oral surgeon and communicated that I was concerned about this patient (and inside I think I was a little concerned about myself too).
Time went on and nothing happened but I knew that you the statues of limitation (how long you have to file suit) is two years on dental work (trust me I called on this).
And for almost two years this thing was hanging over my head. I mean you know it is there but you can't let it control you.
On the 22 month, I got a letter from his attorney. Talk about butt sweat.
He wanted the records.
I was okay with this. I was resolute to this happening.
Remember the progress notes I took, well they were pretty damning to his client.
I left messages to see how he was doing, he didn't call me back. He didn't show for a bunch of appointment. Oh and he also didn't pay.
So I sent all the stuff to the attorney and in the letter I said if you see him tell him he owes me money.
After this I never heard from them again.
I do the best I can. I am honest to a fault. I treat everyone like I would like to be treated.
Do this mean I am exempt from litigation? No.
But you know what? I am at a place where I think I would be okay with it.
I love my practice. I love what I do. I love the people I work with. I love the people I work on.
And you know what...I think most of them love me too (or like me a lot).
So I am okay with one person wanting to bring me down.
It really is the world we live in.
I don't do everything perfect so if someone wants to find a crack in my armour they are going to find it.
It would really suck but one has got to do what one has got to do.
My friend says, "it is what it is."
Do you have any stories like this one?
Have you ever been to court?
Have you ever had to call your insurance company?
I would like to know,
Have a great weekend