Is it malpractice if a patient has a routine chest x-ray and is told it is normal, only to learn two years later that the x-ray was misread. Had it been correctly read, the patient could have had a minimal surgery to remove the cancer, except now the cancer has spread throughout her entire body.
Is it malpractice if a radiologist fails to tell a patient about a brain tumor that he clearly observed? What if the delay in telling the patient caused this patient to lose total vision in her eye that could have been prevented had she been operated on before the tumor cut off the blood supply to the optic nerve.
Is it medical negligence if a doctor in an emergency room ignores a patient's complaints of belly and back pain and never takes a pregnancy test and fails to recognize a pregnancy in the woman's fallopian tube causing it to rupture two days later?
Is it a medical mistake for a doctor doing laparoscopic surgery to fail to recognize that he perforated the patient's intestines during the surgery. Had the hole been recognized during the initial surgery, the patient would not have needed additional corrective surgery a week later.
What do you think about an emergency room doctor who, while sewing up a large laceration, ties off the patient's nerve instead of his artery, and fails to recognize the nerve injury until the nerve had died off.
Maybe this one will cause you to pause- a patient on dialysis complains to the nurse that he thinks his shunt (the place where they attach the dialysis tubing to his arm) is infected. The nurse poo-poo's the patient, and goes about her routine of setting the patient up for his three-hour dialysis treatment. The patient returns home and upon entering his home, his shunt, which is connected directly to his artery bursts open. Despite every effort to apply pressure to the open wound, the pumping artery is so forceful that the patient bleeds to death in minutes. Police arriving at the home thought they stumbled onto a murder scene. The unfortunate reality was that had the infection been recognized, the patient would have been admitted to the hospital, treated, and the shunt never would have ruptured leading to his death.
Is it malpractice for a doctor to fail to recognize fetal distress? Where a baby is about to be born, is it medical error for the nurses and doctors to ignore a patient to the point where the baby is not getting enough oxygen prior to delivery and no effort is made to get the baby out emergently?
How about the case of a woman who was told she would die from cancer if she did not have a hysterectomy? She was only 29 years old at the time. Unfortunately, after the surgery, the pathology showed no evidence of cancer anywhere. In other words, her hysterectomy was totally unnecessary.
Is it malpractice when an orthopedist continues to give medication to a patient for back and hip pain and never tells the patient the risks or side effects of the medication? The patient suffered a massive rupture of his gastric ulcer causing him to bleed to death. Had he known these side effects, he never would have taken this medication.
Do you think it is medical neglect when a young man goes for "simple, routine" hernia surgery and the patient dies because the anesthesiologist fails to recognize that he gave the patient too much anesthesia?
What common recurring theme is found in each of these cases?
Carelessness by a doctor or nurse. Naturally, the doctors and nurses did not intentionally make these mistakes and errors, yet they occurred because of inattention and carelessness. Each of the cases discussed above are real cases that happened in New York. Each victim had a story to tell. Each injury was different and affected each person differently. When asked, every injured victim would rather have their health than have to resort to a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation.
Thanks for becoming informed.
Gerry Oginski is an experienced medical malpractice and personal injury trial attorney practicing law in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, New York, Staten Island, Nassau & Suffolk. He has tirelessly represented injured victims in all types of medical malpractice, wrongful death and injury cases since 1988. As a solo practitioner he is able to devote 100% of his time to each individual client. A client is never a file number in his office.
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