The medical malpractice attorneys won a $1.25 million settlement for a client in a wrongful death case. The deceased in the case went to a hospital in July of 2009. During his stay in the hospital he ultimately died.
Sixty-Nine-Year-Old Man Dies Because of Missed Diagnosis
While the sixty-nine-year-old man was in the hospital he received an anticoagulation medication. Anticoagulation medications reduce the blood’s ability to coagulate, or change from a liquid to a semi-solid state. Then he received an MRI of his lumbar spine. That evening he suffered from multiple vasovagal episodes and low blood pressure. Vasovagal episodes involve a rapid drop in a patient’s heart rate which decreases the flow of blood to the brain and can cause fainting. The next morning the gentleman went into fatal cardiac arrest.His death was ultimately attributed to an undiagnosed retroperitoneal hemorrhage. A retroperitoneal hemorrhage is when blood accumulates in the retroperitoneal space. The retroperitoneal space is a space in the abdominal cavity. There are multiple things that can contribute to such a hemorrhage, but one of them is anticoagulation. Other causes include a ruptured aortic aneurysm, a ruptured renal aneurysm, acute pancreatitis, and malignancy.
The deceased’s family then filed a wrongful death suit. The suit alleged that a radiologist who treated the man negligently and carelessly failed to identify the large retroperitoneal hemorrhage and immediately notify the man’s primary treating physician. The radiologist testified that he violated the standard of care by failing to recognize and report the hemorrhage. The “standard of care” is the decree of prudence required of a person who has taken on the care of another. IN the medical field it includes the diagnostic and treatment process that a medical professional is supposed to follow for a particular type of patient suffering from a particular condition. The radiologist’s mistakes contributed to the man’s avoidable death.
The radiologist’s medical malpractice insurer paid out on the radiologist’s $1 million insurance policy. The hospital where the deceased received his treatment also contributed $250,000 to the ultimate settlement.
Missed Diagnosis is the Most Common Type of Medical Malpractice Claim
CBS News reported last year that the most common medical malpractice claims involved doctor’s failing to diagnose serious conditions. The study the report relied on involved Irish researchers examining claims of medical malpractice by primary care doctors. The researchers found that missed diagnoses accounted for between a quarter and two-thirds of malpractice claims, and that the most common result of these claims was death. Usually the missed diagnosis was a cancer diagnosis or a heart attack diagnosis, but other common ones were appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, and bone fractures. Amongst pediatric patients many of the missed diagnoses were for meningitis and cancer. The next most common type of malpractice, drug errors, only accounted for between six and twenty percent of claims.
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