Kawaauhau v. Geiger, 523 U.S. 57; 97-115
- Category: Medical malpractice; bankruptcy
Coronavirus Update: To New & Existing Clients Learn More ›
A Cook County woman has filed a lawsuit against her medical care provider after the misdiagnosis of her stroke led to permanent injuries. The lawsuit, filed on February 1, 2016, alleges that the plaintiff suffered physical and financial damages when her doctor misread a CT scan and delayed the treatment of her stroke. The defendants in the case are her doctor— Alejandra Campos and Pro Care Medical Center, which provided the plaintiff’s care. Yesenia Carrizosa, the plaintiff, is seeking over $50,000 in the lawsuit as well as additional damages to cover the cost of her legal representation.
A stroke occurs when the supply of oxygen to the brain is limited either due to a blood clot that has formed in a major artery or a hemorrhage that has resulted in massive internal bleeding within the brain. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to ensuring the most positive prognosis for the patient and delaying treatment can result in permanent physical and mental impairment. When doctors suspect that a patient is suffering from a stroke, they will order imagine scans such as a CT scan to determine whether there is evidence of swelling or a blood clot within the brain.
Filthy surgical tools can easily lead to an outbreak of infections that appear many days, weeks or months after undergoing invasive medical procedures and surgeries. Using unsanitary surgical instruments as a part of a surgical procedure often causes cross-contamination of serious life-threatening diseases. This is often a significant problem for patients with compromised immune systems who are susceptible to deadly infections and sepsis.
Many patients of filed civil action against hospitals, surgeons and other health care professionals who use unclean medical tools. The recent outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections at hospitals in the US appear to be caused by unsanitary endoscopes. The bacterium is highly resistant to every form of available antibiotics.
Endoscopes are considered complex medical tools that are extremely challenging to disinfect and clean. However, the growing cases of cross contamination outbreaks caused by filthy medical equipment raises serious questions about keeping hospitals clean to minimize the risk to patients. Contaminated lab equipment and medical tools used as part of the manufacturing process of prescription medications also seem to be responsible for the spread of serious infections including meningitis and hepatitis.
In April 2015, jurors in a Chicago federal courtroom hearing a medical malpractice case returned a verdict for the plaintiff for $9.4 million. The jurors concluded that the surgeons improperly performed bariatric surgery on the 52-year-old Michigan City woman, leaving her with serious brain damage. This award is in addition to the $5 million out-of-court settlement from Downers Grove, Ill. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, where the botched bariatric surgery took place.
Attorneys representing plaintiff Kathryn Parker claim in 2010 she sought out medical assistance of Drs. Allen Mikhail and Jeffrey Rosen because she was suffering from obesity. The plaintiff was given the option of undergoing gastric bypass surgery to help her lose weight and regain her health. Her attorneys allege the doctors knew Ms. Parker suffered a condition requiring medication to thin her blood, but used the wrong drugs before her surgery.
The side effect of taking the wrong blood thinning drug could not be easily reversed. This became a significant issue when internal bleeding began unexpectedly.
One of the greatest risks that patients take when undergoing surgery is that of surgical site infections, which occur when the area operated on becomes contaminated or bacteria invade the incision site after the surgery. Of the reasons that patients return to the hospital following a postoperative discharge, infection is the most common as well as the easiest to prevent.
A recent study on hospital re-admissions has highlighted the need for more precautionary measures and monitoring of patients during recovery in order to detect infections early and to ensure that patients do not return home while the risk of infection is still a concern.
Many hospitals have recently sought more insight concerning the alarming rates of readmission that patients experience in order to prevent readmissions and provide better service to their patients. It has been difficult to address the issue of readmission in the past because medical professionals simply didn’t know what factors have had the greatest influence on the need for patients to return.
When a patient suspects that he or she may have cancer, it is a concern that doctors must approach with the utmost regard and seriousness. There is no room for error in cases that involve patients who may potentially have cancer. Some forms of cancer may go into remission if detected early on, and it is vital that doctors are able to help patients who may be treated in these early stages. In a recent case involving a woman with vulvar cancer, doctors failed to perform the biopsy that she required in a timely manner.
A two-year waiting period occurred before the staff at the Women’s Vulvar Clinic of the Hershey Medical Center finally performed the biopsy that Sandra L. Berry had requested. Mrs. Berry’s gynecologist had advised her to obtain a biopsy from the Medical Center, but the Center dismissed her symptoms and claimed that she did not show signs of cancer. As a result of the extensive waiting period that she underwent before receiving the biopsy, Mrs. Berry suffered from chronic pain and discomfort. She ultimately died in January 2012, and her family argues that her ill condition may have been prevented with an early biopsy. Ms. Berry died after the lawsuit had been filed in court.The legal battle between Mrs. Berry’s family members and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center went on for two years before a settlement was finally agreed upon. The Medical Center disagreed with the Berry family’s claim of negligence, but it continued to settle the case with the family members for $2.4 million. There was also no mediation involved in the settlement process.
Medical malpractice includes cases where the doctor fails to diagnosis illnesses. Such failures may result from the failure to order the necessary tests, failure to see what a normal medical profession could see, failure to consider the patient’s family history, misreading of the test results, failure to refer the patient to the required surgeons, and failure to follow up with the patient on test results. This type of negligence on the part of the healthcare provider should not be disregarded, because every doctor has the duty to determine the cause of certain symptoms. Among the most common types of misdiagnosed illnesses are certain types of cancer.
What are the most common types of cancer that doctors fail to diagnose? Sometimes, these are the types of cancer that could have been prevented or treated successfully had diagnosis been given correctly and on time. Cancer displays certain symptoms that should provide enough warning for physicians. Some of the early general signs of cancer include unexplained weigh-loss, fever, fatigue, pain, headache, or skin tone changes. Some of the specific signs of cancer include: change in bowel habits or bladder function could implicate bladder or prostate cancer, sores that do not heal could indicate skin cancer, unusual bleeding or discharge could mean colon or rectal cancer, blood in the urine could mean bladder or kidney cancer. These are just some of the most common signs of cancer, but cancer can even happen without any of the symptoms mentioned.
Medical Malpractice can be defined as the improper, unskilled, or negligent treatment of a patient by a physician. In order to pursue a malpractice lawsuit, one must demonstrate that the physician owed a legal duty to the patient, that duty was breached, the duty caused bodily harm, and the incident resulted in damages.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the frequency of malpractice lawsuits varies according to specialty. However, Neurosurgery and Thoracic-Cardiovascular surgery have been shown to have the highest rates of malpractice claims.
A patient may seek the services of a neurosurgeon if he or she suffers from a disorder of the nervous system or brain, a brain tumor, head injury, or any other problem that may require surgery. A patient may contact a thoracic-cardiovascular surgeon if he or she has experienced a disease of deformity of the chest, heart, and/or lungs. If a patient chooses to undergo surgery, he or she should be aware of the complications that could arise from malpractice.