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Widower Wins $6 Million in Medical Malpractice Trial

The husband and estate of a woman who developed blood clots and died shortly after undergoing outpatient knee surgery have been awarded more than $6 million in a medical malpractice trial. The 42-year-old victim was referred by her primary care physician at an Army hospital to an orthopedic surgeon to investigate complaints of worsening pain in her left knee. The surgeon gave the victim an injection for the pain and ordered physical therapy. During a follow-up visit the doctor ordered an MRI to determine whether the victim might have a tear in the cartilage of her knee. The MRI indicated a “cartilaginous loose body” behind the victim’s knee and she underwent less than an hour of arthroscopic surgery at the hospital. She went home that day. The next day the victim’s daughter came into check on her and found her dead on the bathroom floor. An autopsy revealed that deep venous thromboids had formed at site of the surgery and had traveled to the lung causing a pulmonary embolism. The couple had just retired from the Army and was excited to start traveling. The trial documents stated that the doctor ignored several risk factors that should have indicated blood clotting could be a problem. The doctor did not appreciate risk factors such as obesity, birth control pills and hypertension. By not appreciating these risk factors, the doctor committed medical malpractice. During the one-week trial it became evident that the doctor did not observe post-surgery precautions. This could have prevented the wrongful death. To read more about the medical malpractice trial, please click the link.