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New Orleans Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Incorrectly inserted catheter may have caused patient injuries

Many Louisiana residents know the fun and freedom that can come with retirement. Retirees finally have time to indulge in hobbies, travel and leisure activities, and everyone hopes to remain relatively healthy to allow them to continue enjoying themselves well into old age. Unfortunately, all too often, a senior's golden years are interrupted by a medical emergency, and sometimes, during the course of treatment, medical professionals cause unnecessary patient injuries.

In a recent example, an 85-year-old man and his wife boarded a cruise ship. The man had been using a catheter and urinary drainage bag for the previous five months. One morning, he had trouble reinserting the catheter and visited the medical bay, but after the ship's doctor inserted the device, blood appeared in the bag. Figuring the man must have blood in his urine, the doctor told him to come back later in the day 

Wire left in man's body cause for medical malpractice lawsuit

Some Louisiana residents know what it is like to experience heart trouble and then the procedure or surgery to correct the problem. The heart is a major organ, so most heart patients likely feel a great deal of anxiety about undergoing the process required to repair the damage and worry about their future well-being following whatever treatment they have had to endure. People in this situation are undoubtedly happy once the process is completed and their lives can return to some semblance of normality. Unfortunately, 10 years after undergoing an angiogram procedure, a man in another state discovered a 57-inch metal wire running through his body, and following the discovery, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The now 70-year-old man underwent the angioplasty procedure in 2005 after doctors told him he had congestive heart failure. The procedure requires a catheter to be inserted through the bloodstream, and a metal wire is used to keep the catheter stiff. In this man's case, allegedly, when the catheter was removed, the wire was not. The patient was not aware of the wire in his body until he visited another doctor in 2015 and an X-ray revealed it running from his chest to his thigh. During another surgery one year ago, doctors removed much of the wire, but more than 20 inches of it remains in his body.

Hospital negligence may have led to woman's death during detox

As most Louisiana residents likely understand, people are complicated, and each person may react differently to a challenging situation, such as a death in the family. Unfortunately, some people turn to dangerous substances to help them deal with their grief. Recently, a woman in another state was admitted to a hospital and addiction center after she experienced a heroin addiction relapse. In what appears to be a matter of hospital negligence, sadly, the woman died at the center shortly after beginning treatment.

The woman had turned to heroin as a coping mechanism following her brother's suicide six years ago. At one point, she was rushed to a hospital and underwent detox; although she recovered then, eventually, the 30-year-old woman relapsed and was again admitted to a local hospital and addiction center, where she began detox treatment. She made it through the initial 72-hour period, but on a recent Saturday, her mother worried as she hadn't received an expected phone call from her daughter. The mother called the hospital and was told staff were having difficulty getting her daughter to eat and drink. The following morning a hospital administrator called to tell her that her daughter had passed away during the night.

Childhood misdiagnosis leads to medical malpractice lawsuit

As many Louisiana parents know, childhood can be fraught with challenging times, sometimes including injury and illness. Of course, in most cases, the parents of ill children welcome professional advice and will do whatever they need to do to reduce or eliminate the discomfort or pain their child is feeling. However, sometimes, a physician diagnoses a problem and prescribes treatment for reasons other than healing. Such appears to be the case in an incident involving a 26-year-old woman who is about to go on trial against a doctor and the medical center that employed him, claiming she has suffered from medical malpractice and negligence.

The woman was diagnosed with epilepsy as a 9-year-old child, after visiting a doctor about her chronic headaches. He had prescribed anti-seizure medication, which she took for the next four years. The medicine made her feel sluggish, and she also endured teasing from other kids at school, as she was told to limit her physical activity, and she said her grades also suffered. As well, she occasionally had to undergo an electroencephalogram (EEG), a test used to measure brain activity. When her doctor left the country for a different job, another doctor delivered a different diagnosis: she did not have epilepsy.

Man awarded $3 million in emergency room malpractice case

Louisiana residents likely know that when a person seeks medical attention, a swift and accurate diagnosis and immediate attention to treatment can significantly affect the outcome. In a hospital emergency room setting, although medical professionals are under pressure to quickly and efficiently evaluate a patient's condition and deliver an accurate diagnosis, failure to do so can have catastrophic results for the patient. Recently, a jury in another state awarded a 66-year-old man $3 million after hearing his case of emergency room malpractice.

Early in 2016, the man, who was then 63, fell and struck his face on furniture. He went to a hospital emergency room to seek medical attention. Hospital staff failed to recognize that he had suffered a spinal injury and discharged him. The man is now permanently paralyzed. According to a statement by the man's attorneys, if medical staff had recognized the extent of his injury and treated him with neurosurgery, the spinal injury could have been reversed.

Family of baby suffering from birth injury settles lawsuit

Many Louisiana couples know the feeling of anxiously awaiting their child's birth and simultaneously experiencing excitement and uncertainty about the outcome. Of course, parents always hope to take home a healthy baby with 10 each of fingers and toes, but unfortunately, some birth stories do not end this way. Recently, a family in another state reached a settlement in their birth injury lawsuit just before a jury awarded them $30.6 million.

The family had filed the lawsuit against the health care staffing provider who supplied the nurse responsible for monitoring their baby's heart rate during his 2013 birth. The jury found the nurse negligent in the care and treatment of the baby and his mother. According to the plaintiff's attorney, the $30.6 million award is among the largest awards in a medical malpractice case in that state in recent years. Although the settlement amount is confidential, reportedly, the family will still receive a significant sum.

Family claims hospital negligence led to man's death

When a physician in Louisiana or elsewhere prescribes a drug, the patient assumes that the physician is aware of any allergies in his or her medical history and would not prescribe the drug if it was not safe for the patient. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes a drug is prescribed despite conditions that could cause it to be harmful to a particular patient. This may have been what happened when an 80-year-old man in another state died after being prescribed a medication that he was allergic to that may have caused a lung condition leading to his death. His family is now claiming hospital negligence and is suing the hospital group for more than $1 million.

According to the lawsuit, the incident leading to the man's death began when he went to a local hospital's emergency department for help with a heart condition. An emergency physician diagnosed him with ventricular arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heartbeat that can lead to cardiac arrest. He was admitted to the hospital, and although two physicians noted his allergy to a drug typically used to treat his condition, he was nevertheless prescribed that drug. A potentially fatal lung condition is one of the more serious potential side effects of the medication. The suit states that several physicians throughout his hospital stay also noted the allergy, but they continued to approve the medication.

Medical malpractice suit alleges sponge left in patient's body

Anyone in Louisiana or elsewhere who is undergoing any sort of surgical procedure expects medical professionals to provide detailed information about any risks involved with the surgery. Patients can then make informed medical decisions and will also know what to expect if they experience any unusual results following the procedure. A woman in another state filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging she was not well informed prior to an operation she underwent in 2015. Recently, a judge set a two-week jury trial for June of next year for the case.

In May 2015, the woman went to the hospital to investigate her abdominal pain. Physicians diagnosed her with gallstones and prescribed medication; they also determined she should have her gallbladder removed. Reportedly, after the patient underwent multiple procedures, she suffered pain and showed signs of infection. These symptoms apparently continued, and the following year, she returned to the hospital for further procedures. Allegedly, a physician prescribed the patient antibiotics after admitting the pain may have been due to a foreign object left inside her during surgery, and in 2017, testing revealed a sponge in her body cavity.

Family settles for $3.8 million in medical malpractice lawsuit

People requiring care in a hospital emergency room are entitled to receive necessary medical attention, testing and treatment, and no detail regarding socioeconomic status or ethnicity should influence the level of care they receive. Most Louisiana residents would likely agree with this statement. However, a family in another state claims the level of care given to one of their members at a hospital emergency room did not meet the same standard applied to higher-income patients . The family subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, and the facility recently agreed to settle for $3.8 million.

Early in 2015, the then 33-year-old woman went to the hospital with her husband, as she had experienced breathing difficulty since the day before. She underwent several tests that, according to court documents, revealed evidence of life-threatening disease and heart failure. She was then given a drug that her family felt was a poor choice under the circumstances. Reportedly, the drug is a respiratory depressant and was apparently given for right hand pain.

Attention to detail can prevent surgical errors

Bringing a child into the world is often referred to as one of the happiest moments in a woman's life and after the birth the mother's first concern is for the health of her child. Fingers and toes are frequently counted to make sure there are 10. When a child's health is in jeopardy or an illness has been diagnosed, there is little a parent won't do to help the child in Louisiana. Parents will look to the best physicians available to care for their child. If surgery is required, the possibility of surgical errors will probably be far from a parent's mind.

A case in another state involves a highly-regarded pediatric surgeon who is facing charges of gross negligence and incompetence by the State Department of Health. The incidents that caused the charges to be brought against her occurred between 2010 and 2012. The cases involved five young patients, and the doctor is accused of failing to exercise appropriate caution and care.

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