Medical establishments in Louisiana that process lab results are mandated to report critical lab results to the ordering physician. Critical labs results potentially indicate an immediate medical need of a patient. Failure to act quickly on a critical lab result could endanger a patient and be considered negligent medical malpractice. Recently, in another state, a patient's husband filed a lawsuit against multiple defendants claiming their negligence and inadequate care was the reason for his wife's death.
In May 2014, the patient saw a physician at his practice with complaints of difficulty urinating, shaking and uncontrollable jerking motions of her upper body. The doctor then ordered blood and urine tests to be completed the day of his examination. However, the patient could not urinate to have the urine tests completed, but nothing was done to address this issue. Referrals were given for the patient to see another physician the following week to address some of her symptoms. The patient's autopsy would later reveal that she died with 1.5 liters of fluid in her bladder.
Seven hours after her blood was drawn, her comprehensive metabolic panel came back with extreme abnormal critical results. Despite the mandate that critical results have to be reported, no call was recorded. The patient was found dead in her sleep the following morning by her husband.
The defendants in the lawsuit claim that the patient possibly died from a natural disease process and not as a result of their care. The wrongful death lawsuit is in its beginning stages, and the family is likely being advised by an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Families in Louisiana who have lost a loved one to suspected negligent medical malpractice could benefit from also speaking with a medical malpractice attorney. While compensation will not take away the grief that comes with losing a loved one, it can relieve some of the burden that comes with unexpected end-of-life costs.
Source: wyomingnews.com, "Wrongful death suit filed against UW Family Medicine and CRMC", Sarah Zoellick, Nov. 6, 2016