Hospital Staff Fails to Diagnosis Patient with Perforated Bowel; Patient Dies Before Staff Realizes What’s Happening!


In an out-of-state case, a patient’s family has sued a hospital and its staff—doctors and nurses—in a case where a sixty-seven year old man died under their “care.”  Shockingly, this patient had gone to the hospital for a simple urinary tract infection and was under expert care which should have realized the classic symptoms he was exhibited.  Moreover, they became manifest WHILE he was in the hospital being treated!
           
According to the patient’s family, what happened was that the patient was being treated when his condition slowly deteriorated and became worse as time when on.  The treating physician had initially said that as the patient’s condition improves, he could go home the very next day.  The doctor then left the hospital.  His family realized and kept contacting the hospital staff regarding the patient’s condition as it became to get much worse, particularly when the symptoms became very obvious.  For example, the patient’s abdomen was increasingly becoming so distended that it the patient started to have trouble breathing.  The nursing staff continued to shake off the family’s concerns until around 3 am when they called the physician—now for the first time—for an evaluation.  When he was examined by that physician, they realized that something was seriously wrong and immediately transferred him to the intensive care unit.  However, he died shorted before 5 am after being transferred. 
           
The defense is arguing that the staff and doctor did not deviate from the standard of care that a competent physician in the locality would have rendered.  Moreover, the defense argues that because the patient was always suffering from multiple sclerosis, that it was much more difficult for the staff to diagnosis the complications and a reasonable physician or nurse in that situation would have treated him the same.
           
But I’m not sure I buy it.  Again, this case is about to go to trial as the jury was just picked so everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  However, if these symptoms and allegations are proven to be true, it would be quite obvious that the hospital is liable for the patient’s death.  The plaintiff’s attorney told the jury that the entire hospital staff is “equally responsible for what occurred here.  There’s no way to compensate; we can’t bring him back.  But we want you to decide what’s fair for what this family has gone through.” 

With the tort reform still looming, this is a significant issue because there really is no way to compensate the victims here.  Another surgery cannot be done to reverse the errors.  Reimbursing the victims for the botched treatment still doesn’t restore them whole.  The only way is with money, and likely a lot of money.  Moreover, this staff cannot be allowed to just walk on this without paying a hefty price.  Ultimately, the hospital and doctor will likely be his hardest with this lawsuit and I hope this causes them to think twice when a patient’s condition is slowly deteriorating—especially when the patient’s family realized something was wrong!

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] .  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.
1 Comments
was this case won? I am unfortunately dealing with a similar problem.
by jaime randall May 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM
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