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Providence Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Wrongful death suit claims medical malpractice led to death

For a relatively healthy person in Rhode Island, a case of pneumonia can be challenging, but a full recovery is typically possible if he or she is properly treated. However, one out-of-state woman claims that her husband's case of pneumonia was exacerbated by medical malpractice. She has filed a wrongful death case as a result of his death.

Court papers indicate that the 49-year-old man was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia in Dec. 2013. He was treated and returned home, but was admitted to the hospital two days later after his symptoms worsened. Unfortunately, he died shortly thereafter as a result of what his wife claims was medical malpractice.

Large settlement awarded to victim due to ER doctor errors

When a Rhode Island resident is a victim of medical negligence or doctor errors, it could be possible to collect recompense because of their pain and suffering. Victims of this type of negligence may be interested in a recent case (from another state) that resulted in a large settlement. A woman was awarded $4 million after a jury ruled that doctor errors led to the untimely death of her husband.

The woman claimed that she brought her husband to the emergency room for treatment for chest pains after feeling ill for several days. The emergency room doctor sent him away after diagnosing the man with a stomach illness. A few days after he was sent home from the ER, he collapsed from a heart attack and was not able to be revived. The lawsuit claimed that the emergency room doctor missed or ignored several symptoms that indicated a major medical problem.

Delayed diagnosis of Ebola virus could affect thousands

The Ebola virus is without a doubt one of the most worrisome viruses on the planet. Not only is it incurable, but the possibility of the virus showing up in the United States has people around the country, including residents of Rhode Island, concerned about related subjects, including the delayed diagnosis of the condition. After all, the long-term potential effects of a delayed diagnosis for an Ebola sufferer by an inadequately trained medical professional could conceivably put many individuals at risk.

The Ebola virus is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person by a non-infected person. In a hospital environment, such as an emergency room, medical workers like doctors, nurses and interns are constantly moving between patients. This places every individual at risk if the Ebola virus is not immediately diagnosed by personnel so that the sufferer can be appropriately quarantined.

Doctor's negligence allegedly caused infection and death

Medical negligence claims sometimes arise over the placement of stents and medical implants inside the patient’s body. Under Rhode Island law, when a doctor’s negligence results in improper placement or careless monitoring of an implant, there may be a claim against the doctor if serious injury is caused by the negligence. Accordingly, a deceased patient’s estate is suing two doctors and a hospital for negligence in the placement and follow-up of a temporary implant inserted into his body for the treatment of cholestatic liver function and a pancreatic mass.

It is alleged that one of the defendant doctors installed the stint implant on or about Aug. 5, 2009. When released from doctor’s care in Oct. 2009, the suit alleges that the doctor did not advise the patient that the stint was temporary and would have to be removed and replaced. He also allegedly gave the patient no instructions for its care. The lawsuit alleges that in Aug. 2010 the patient became extremely ill and a severe septic infection was found in his stomach.

High tech video medical services may open door to doctor mistakes

Many things that used to be handled face-to-face have fallen to the demand for fast service and convenience, including medical care. There is a proliferation of online applications that purport to offer medical advice and diagnosis right over the handheld screen. However, some fear that this new use of technology may open the door for doctor mistakes and ill consequences for patients. There may be many Rhode Island residents who have used or considered using these services.

Since 2002, medical consultation phone and tablet applications have grown in popularity. As a result, there are new services entering the market every year. While most of these services are targeted to provide care for minor illnesses and injuries, the possibility for mistakes are not negligible. Most of the services work by having the patient answer a variety of questions relating to their complaint and then participate in a video conference with a healthcare provider.

Doctor mistakes may be more common than many realize

Doctor mistakes can be serious, even risking the health and safety of the people they care for. When a Rhode Island patient is affected by doctor mistakes, they may lose trust in their physician and stress about what can be done to correct the injury. A list of major medical errors that are considered the most serious and preventable was published in 2006 by the National Quality Forum and underscores the potential seriousness of physician error.

Mistakes have occurred by giving a patient the wrong blood type or by allowing surgical tools or supplies to be left behind and sewn up internally during a surgery. Statistics show that a surgical tool or item is forgotten and left inside a patient, on average, more than 9,000 times a year. When a foreign object is mistakenly left behind in a patient, they can experience immense pain and infection, requiring additional medical care that can be expensive and life threatening.

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.

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