Misdiagnosis is a common medical malpractice claim. When health care providers fail to detect the causes of illnesses or disease, there can be serious consequences that cause major damage to a patient’s health and their family’s lives.
In a recent case out of Brooklyn, the family of a medical malpractice victim sued a Manhattan hospital for allegedly causing the death of a fifty-four year old man. The court awarded the family $5.9 million for the hospitals apparent failure to detect complications that resulted from a bariatric bypass surgery. The court found that the hospital’s egregious malpractice was what led to his death.
The man decided to have bariatric bypass surgery because at 550 pounds he knew his life was at risk due to his weight. He was hoping that as a result of the surgery that he would be able to live a longer and healthier life. However, he suffered a deadly complication in the form of a gastric leak. This complication when undetected for several months as his health continued to decline. By the time the leak was discovered the man’s body was filled with infections and covered in bed sores. Additionally, the man’s condition was too far advanced for doctors to do anything. He died two years later in a VA hospital.
Doctors claim that they were prevented from discovering the gastric leak due to the patient’s obese condition. Had the man not been too obese to fit inside the CAT scan machine they would have been able to detect the complication.
The victim’s family sued the VA hospital for $15 million. During court testimony it was revealed that the doctor’s had thought about sending the man to a center to use examination tools that were specially equipped for morbidly obese patients. However this did not happen. As was shown by this case, failure to diagnose can have serious consequences. This is why it is important for a patient’s condition be diagnosed in a timely manner and correctly.
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