Over the last year, ProPublica has been investigating patient harm, one of the leading causes of death in America, and inviting providers and patients to share their experiences with our reporters. We’ve received hundreds of responses, and continue to report based on those tips as well as insights shared in our growing Facebook community.

Today, we’re expanding our call for stories with the Voices of Patient Harm, a new Tumblr featuring a mosaic of personal stories from people affected by patient safety issues. There are those who've been harmed directly, like Carla Muss-Jacobs, who describes the consequences of a surgical injury:

The injuries I sustained were NOT the standard “known risks." It was later discovered by my highly experienced medical expert that I did not need a total knee athroplasty, there was no medical evidence for the procedure. I was butchered and used as a medical guinea pig.

And there are others who have watched as loved ones suffered, like Veronica James, who recounts the injury and death of her mother, Vera Eliscu, in acute-care hospital in New Jersey:  

After her injury, Mom never spoke again nor barely moved. I learned coma-stimulation, and became her therapist, as [physical therapists] refused to exercise her. From Jan. 09 until her Wrongful Death in Aug 09, I spent 7 days a week advocating in facilities on Mom’s behalf, documenting her med’s and [hospital-acquired illnesses] ... bringing in acupuncture & nutrition, and fighting with staff, firing 3 doctors in the process. 

Robin Karr underwent a total hysterectomy without her consent. She concludes her tragic story with a call for change based on her own experience:

I want to see a better system put in place for checking for correct surgery and proper consent.

Have you been affected by patient harm? Help us capture the stories behind the statistics by sharing your story and photo with us here. 

 

The Voices of Patient Harm is part of ProPublica’s ongoing investigation into patient safety. Have a private tip? Share it with our reporters here.