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Medical malpractice results in amputation of patient's leg

Individuals in Louisiana living with genetic disorders are likely very familiar with taking medications on a daily basis. These medications are often prescribed to help control these disorders so that the patient might go about his or her everyday life. So, when a doctor chooses to ignore the need for these medications, that neglect may constitute medical malpractice. This was the case for one man whose medical malpractice lawsuit resulted in an award of $40 million after his leg was amputated due to an infection he contracted because doctors advised him to refrain from taking certain prescribed medications. 

In Dec. 2010, a man with a previously diagnosed genetic blood-clotting disorder entered a hospital emergency room with complaints of back pain, weight loss and fatigue. He frequently took blood thinners for his disorder. However, doctors asked him to refrain from taking the blood thinners so that they could perform a colonoscopy in order to check for signs of lymphoma.

Two days later, the patient returned to the hospital where he was admitted and diagnosed as hyper-coagulated. At this point, he had not taken blood thinners for 10 days. Instead of the lymph-node biopsy that was originally planned, doctors performed a bone marrow biopsy. After the procedure, the doctor recommended that the patient resume taking blood thinners, but later decided that the patient should instead wait until after the lymph-node biopsy, which had been rescheduled for nearly a week later, to resume taking the medication.

During the time leading up to the second biopsy, the patient developed life-threatening blood clots in his legs and lungs. He was readmitted to the hospital and given high doses of anticoagulants. However, the damage had already been done. The patient's right leg had become infected with gangrene and had to be amputated. 

Doctors chose to ignore this patient's pre-existing condition, and it nearly cost him his life. Not only has the man's ability to move on his own been affected, but he has also suffered from anxiety and depression. Individuals in Louisiana who believe that they might be victims of medical malpractice have every right to contact an attorney to assess their right to pursue claims for financial relief.

Source: providencejournal.com, "Jury awards $40 million to North Providence man in malpractice suit against R.I. Hospital", Katie Mulvaney, Sep. 22, 2017

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