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North Adams Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Jury says a failure to diagnose responsible for patient's death

Hospital emergency rooms in Massachusetts and across the country have routines and procedures they are used to following. A triage system is used to determine the severity of a patient's symptoms, vital signs are taken and some patients will receive basic blood work. One family in another state claims that their daughter did not receive some of the most basic standards of care and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. A jury recently agreed with the family's claims that the hospital was at fault for failure to diagnose and awarded the family $3.3 million.

The family's 23-year-old daughter was suffering severe shortness of breath, prompting a trip to the emergency room. According to records, she suffered from lupus, which is an autoimmune disease that can cause a multitude of symptoms. Shortness of breath is sometimes a symptom, but the family claims that the patient was suffering more than normal. The patient was seen and discharged to home.

Birth trauma: Mother claims surgery occured without anesthesia

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, more mothers are speaking out about the lack of control in the birth of their children and choices granted by obstetricians. Not everyone can be offered choices based on their medical conditions, but many mothers claim that choices are often not offered in order for quicker births to fit in an obstetrician's schedule. For some, the lack of control can result in serious birth trauma for the mother and/or the newborn. A woman in another state has sued a hospital, claiming she was forced to endure surgery without anesthesia during the birth of her child.

The 26-year-old recounts her horrific birth experience as beginning during what she assumed would be a normal vaginal birth. She was admitted and began an intravenous drip with Pitocin to induce her labor. Along with the Pitocin, she was given an epidural to lessen the labor pains. Unfortunately, complications occurred; the mother's blood pressure lowered to unsafe levels, and physicians had a difficult time monitoring the baby's heart rate. 

Parents claim medical negligence after freezer malfunction

Significant strides in fertility assistance have occurred in the last 40 years, making it possible for many men and women in Massachusetts and across the country to become parents when they could not on their own. Sadly, thousands of patients seeking fertility help were affected by a hospital freezer malfunction earlier this year, resulting in significant personal loss. Some patients have filed lawsuits claiming the malfunction was medical negligence. 

Some patients choose to pursue in vitro fertilization when they cannot conceive a child. It is expensive and often the last opportunity to have a biological child. In the process eggs and embryos are often frozen for future pregnancy attempts. For thousands of patients in another state, many suffered the loss of their eggs and embryos this past March when a hospital freezer malfunctioned, destroying approximately 4,000 eggs and embryos.

Family says a failure to diagnose killed patient

In the medical field, time is of the essence. A missed lab test, missed antibiotic, delayed radiology exam or a failure to diagnose can mean life or death for many patients. Families in Massachusetts may be interested in one family's recent lawsuit against a medical center and its medical director. The family is claiming that negligence to perform a test in a timely manner may have led to their loved one's death.

The facility in question is one that specifically cares for veterans. The family's lawsuit is not the only lawsuit involving the facility, as 12 other families are also in a lawsuit regarding the care of their loved ones over a similar issue. The family, along with the other families, are claiming that the facility and the director did not properly test patients for a serious form of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. The disease is caused by inhaling particles of water that contain the bacteria Legionella. Not only had the facility had dozens of outbreaks over a period of years, and at least 13 deaths, but the CDC had also reported that the facility may never be able to get rid of the bacteria in its water.

Undaignosed heart disease may have resulted in man's death

Significant advances in the medical field have been made to aid physicians in making quick and accurate diagnoses of patients. Blood tests, radiology tests, ultrasound technology and others all help add to the data that physicians need to make a correct diagnosis of a patient. When patients in Massachusetts suffer from some sort of heart disease, stroke, blood clot or sepsis, a timely diagnosis is vital to the outcome of a patient's health. One family recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that a hospital and emergency room physician failed to diagnose man's pending cardiac arrest.

The 47-year-old man was a father of two sons and is also survived by his mother. Reportedly, symptoms of chest pain, headache and shortness of breath were significant enough for him to make a visit to an emergency room. No details of his treatment or recommended follow-up treatment were reported. He was released to home.

Jury says hospital responsible for girl's medical negligence

The vertebrae in the human body serves the purpose of protecting the important spinal cord. When there is a compromise in the spine, it is physically and/or mentally disabling for a person. Some generative disorders result in children suffering deformities of their spine and being at risk for injury. Massachusetts patients may be interested in one young woman's lawsuit filed due to alleged medical negligence and her recent civil court verdict in her favor.

When the now 17-year-old girl was the age of 10, doctors decided she was in need of a surgery. The surgery was intended to correct a curvature of her spine and the negative symptoms she was experiencing. During the surgery, rods were placed near her spine to stabilize it. Following the surgery, she did not experience relief from the negative symptoms, but she instead began suffering new and worsening symptoms.

Medical malpractice: Girl awarded $135 million in lawsuit

Every day in Massachusetts and across the country, thousands of people undergo surgeries and other medical procedures. Doctors, surgeons and other medical personnel are entrusted with the care of these patients. Although most procedures are fairly common and routine, mistakes can be made any time humans are involved. When mistakes are made during medical procedures, the patient unfortunately suffers the consequences. Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States.

A 17 year-old girl in another state was recently awarded $135 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit after a procedure left her with permanent injuries. According to the lawsuit, the girl underwent a surgical procedure to correct the curvature of her spine. In this procedure, the lawsuit said a doctor placed rods along her spine which were supposed to relieve compression in her spinal cord.

Medical negligence: Family awarded $29.5 million for loss

Medical tests are a supposed to be the key to discovering a diagnosis or determine a health problem, not be the end of a life. Unfortunately, many medical tests have some risks associated with their completion, but they are typically rare. Sadly, one woman in another state lost her life while undergoing a CT scan. Massachusetts's families may be interested in the family's recent civil court victory following their claim for medical negligence.

The family filed a lawsuit in civil court following the death of the 40-year-old mother. The woman consented to have a CT scan performed for a health condition that was not reported. As with some tests, an intravenous dye was required in order for the radiologist to obtain an accurate scan. It occurs rarely, but the woman suffered an allergic reaction to the contrast dye. The reaction resulted in anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening.

Failure to diagnose ends man's career; $18.4 million awarded

Physicians are not allowed to perform HIV tests on patients without a thorough explanation and consent to a test. Test results can be life-changing for a patient, but if caught early enough, some patients are able to live relatively healthy lives with treatment. One patient made the terrifying decision to have an HIV test performed, but despite his consent, he was never tested. Massachusetts patients may be interested to learn that a jury recently awarded the man $18.4 million for the harm he suffered due to two different physicians' failure to diagnose him in a timely manner.

Reportedly, the patient agreed to be tested because he was a high-risk patient. He was a gay man, and he had handled blood and bodily fluids as a paramedic in his younger years. Despite consent, the blood was not tested or followed up by two different physicians.

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