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Providence Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Man claims doctor's negligence cost him an important body part

While often necessary for various medical reasons, surgery can be a daunting experience for many patients in Rhode Island. Although the benefits of surgery are often overwhelming, instances arise when complications or mistakes can drastically affect an individual. Recently, a man in another state claimed that a doctor’s negligence caused his procedure to take a bad turn, and woke up from surgery missing an important body part.

In June 2014, a patient went under the knife for what was intended to be a circumcision. However, the patient awoke from surgery to discover that his penis had been completely amputated. He says that consent was not granted, either in part or whole, for the amputation to occur.

Was sponge left in patient a case of wrongful death?

Abdominal pain is a fact of life for some throughout Rhode Island. This pain can range from just a mild case of indigestion to severe problems requiring surgery. For many, the thought of surgery is frightening; therefore, some patients will put off visiting their doctor as long as possible. The majority of the time, this fear is unwarranted; however, for one patient in another state, a sponge which was left behind during her abdominal surgery may be a case of wrongful death.

In 2009, a 58-year-old woman underwent abdominal surgery. During the surgery, the surgical team noted that the sponge count was off. The doctor located one sponge that had been left behind and removed it. The doctor ordered an X-ray, although he apparently did not review it to ensure that all sponges had been removed. In spite of the fact that there had been a surgical team shift change during the operation, he took their word that all sponges had been accounted for and concluded the operation.

Possible physician errors in knee replacement surgery

Many individuals throughout Rhode Island will undergo knee replacement surgery during their lifetime. This surgery is designed to give the individual increased movement and lessen knee pain. Of course, this outcome assumes that physician errors will not occur and that the surgery and rehabilitation will go according to plan.

One patient in another state recently underwent knee replacement surgery. Following surgery, he followed his doctor's orders and participated in physical therapy to gain increased mobility in his knee. However, something went wrong, a screw became loose and his new knee became improperly positioned.

$16.7 million awarded in doctor errors lawsuit

Cancer is a scary word for many throughout Rhode Island. It seems that virtually everyone either has a personal experience or a close relationship with someone who has experienced cancer. For this reason, many will seek medical attention when something just doesn’t feel right. Many also undergo routine examinations as a form of early detection. When doctor errors occur, and cancer is not detected in its early stages, the prognosis is usually not nearly as positive as cancer found in its early stages.

In 2006, a woman had a chest X-ray performed. The radiologist indicated that the X-ray was normal. However, a little over a year later, the woman was diagnosed with lung cancer. Approximately two years after the X-ray was taken, the 47-year-old woman died as a result of the cancer.

Are birth injuries possible from multiple c-sections?

Some Rhode Island mothers may be familiar with the process of having a c-section and wonder if it poses an increased risk for additional birth injuries. While a c-section is not considered "dangerous" in medical circles, it is possible that there is an increased risk for birth injuries with each subsequent delivery. It is estimated that one-third of American births are c-section deliveries, which makes it extremely important for the mother to be informed about her health and the health of her baby.

A mother may have the option to choose a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). While this is often safe and possible for many mothers, it is possible that Rhode Island moms could be at a higher risk for complications. It is possible that a mother could experience uterine rupture, which could endanger her and the health of her baby.

Physician errors claim settled for $1.5 million

In any given year, most individuals throughout Rhode Island will suffer from a sore throat at some point. Sometimes, this sore throat can be managed with over-the-counter medications. At other times, the pain is severe enough to merit a doctor's visit. The assumption is that the doctor will give the individual something to ease the pain and take care of the underlying problem. Medication for a sore throat is not something that typically leads one to think of possible physician errors that could lead to death.

In April 2013, a concerned mother took her 17-year-old daughter to her local urgent care clinic. The girl was complaining of a severe sore throat, and the doctor at the clinic ordered an opioid drug for the girl to relieve the pain. However, the dosage that was ordered and administered was in excess of two times the normal amount prescribed for an adult.

Mother claims that delayed delivery caused birth injuries to son

A newborn baby is typically a joyous occasion for Rhode Island families. However, if the baby is born with birth injuries that cause permanent damage, the joy can be tempered with worry and heartbreak. A jury in another state recently awarded a mother and her son $14.5 million for birth injuries the child suffered as the result of his delayed delivery.

According to her complaint, a 36-year-old mother began having premature labor in 2003. Over the course of several weeks, she was admitted to the hospital three times. Having had a C-section 11 years prior, she was already aware of the probable need for a C-section.

$2.7 million jury award for doctor errors in cancer diagnosis

Most women are concerned about and pay attention to their health. If a Rhode Island woman found a lump in one of her breasts, she would most likely consult her doctor at the first opportunity. She would then expect for the appropriate tests to be conducted and the indicated results to direct appropriate action. She would not expect that doctor errors would be committed and that breast cancer would go undiagnosed.

Recently, a woman was awarded $2.7 million by a jury in another state. In 2011, she found a lump in her breast and consulted with a doctor at her local women’s clinic. She was referred for an ultrasound, which showed a cyst and lesions. The radiologist then referred her to a surgeon.

$12 million awarded to patient for doctor errors

A routine surgery may cause a slight quiver for many Rhode Island residents, though many think of it as just a part of life. Hernia surgeries are performed on a daily basis. The procedure is usually not too invasive, and the recovery time is fairly short compared to many surgeries. The thought of a simple hernia surgery resulting in a coma and permanent injury due to doctor errors usually does not enter one’s mind as he or she gets ready for the surgery.

In 2008, a woman in a nearby state underwent what should have been a simple hernia surgery. The procedure was performed by a surgical resident. Sometime during the course of the surgery, he cut into her colon. However, this surgical mistake was not detected under after her incision was closed and an invasive infection manifested itself.

Doctor errors allowed cancerous tumor to go untreated for years

Cancer is a scary word for most people. At a minimum, it can mean surgery and possible chemotherapy; at the worst, it can be a death sentence. For this reason, most Rhode Island women follow their doctor's recommendation and have a yearly mammogram. This diagnostic test is one means available to detect possible breast cancer. However, if the mammogram is not properly read, as was the case with one woman in another state, breast cancer can be allowed to go untreated as a result of possible doctor errors.

In 2007, this woman had her first mammogram. Although it showed a small spot, the doctor reading the mammogram determined that it was nothing to be concerned about. Three other yearly mammograms showed the same spot and received the same diagnosis.

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