Many Louisiana residents turn to urgent care clinics when they are experiencing health problems, and the physicians at such facilities, typically, are competent professionals. However, patients who visit these clinics often do not see the same physician each visit, which can sometimes result in inconsistencies and less than ideal treatment. Recently, a jury returned a record-breaking $9 million verdict in a wrongful death medical malpractice case after a woman died following a visit to an urgent care clinic.
The woman visited the facility in Dec. 2014 complaining of sharp chest pain, difficulty breathing and coughing. The physician she saw performed an exam, prescribed an antibiotic and instructed her to return if her symptoms worsened. She did return two days later and was assigned a different physician, who was new to the clinic and had been instructed to examine patients without viewing their current or previous medical history.
On this second visit, the patient’s condition was critical, and she should have been taken by ambulance to a nearby medical center. Instead, the new physician prescribed an inhaler and sent the patient home. The next day, she suffered blood clots in her lungs and died. The $9 million verdict resulting from the medical malpractice case is the largest ever in that county.
Doctors maintain medical records for a good reason, so that they can access information about previous visits in order to provide an optimum treatment plan for their patient. In this case, it seems crucial details were missed during this patient’s second visit to the clinic, resulting in a tragic outcome. Louisiana residents who feel they have also been victims of medical malpractice have the right to pursue the matter in civil court. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can advise such people of their legal options.