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Hospital negligence claimed by grieving widower

Administering pain medication to a hospitalized patient requires close monitoring.  Hospital personnel in Rhode Island and elsewhere are required to keep meticulous records regarding how often and how much medication is given to a patient -- especially when narcotics such as morphine are prescribed.  It is an apparent failure to monitor an out-of-state patient's medication levels that her widower says led to her death.  He recently filed a medical malpractice suit, claiming hospital negligence as a result.

In Oct. 2011, the woman was admitted to the hospital with intense back pain that she likened to the pain of a kidney stone.  The examining physician expected she would be discharged the next day.  However, at around 6 p.m. that next evening, her pain remained, and she was also suffering from dizziness and nausea.

Jury says woman has lifelong condition due to doctor's negligence

Sometimes, the cause of a Rhode Island resident's pain or illness is elusive.  It can take several medical tests to determine the cause, and the faster those tests are done, the sooner a diagnosis can be made.  However, there are times when the proper tests are either not run quickly enough -- or not at all -- due a doctor's negligence, which can leave the patient with a permanent injury.

The delay in ordering a CT Scan is what one out-of-state woman says left her with a condition that prohibits her from taking deep breaths.  She now has to use a walker in order to get around because of her breathing problems.  A jury determined that the doctor failed to timely order the test that would have discovered the true cause of her pain and led to her condition.  She was recently awarded $700,000, and due to her husband's claim of loss of consortium, he was awarded $425,000. 

Cerebral palsy, brachial palsy can be caused by doctor negligence

Sadly, what is usually considered to be the most joyous day for parents in Rhode Island can quickly become the worst. When an otherwise healthy newborn child is injured due to an attending doctor's negligence or other mistake, the aftermath can often be that much more devastating. Two common birth injuries that can be caused by doctor negligence are cerebral palsy and brachial palsy.

Both lack of oxygen or bleeding in a newborn's brain following delivery can result in cerebral palsy, which can result in slow motor and oral development. Cerebral palsy victims may also suffer abnormalities in their muscle tone, while a decrease in muscle tone can also result in limp limbs. If an attending physician fails to recognize that the child is not receiving adequate oxygen or does not take proper measures to prevent harm, such as a timely C-section, injury may be inevitable.

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.

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