Sometimes, terrible medical outcomes could have been avoided, if the right test had been done or warning signs been heeded.
Here are several examples of how we’ve helped families in situations where doctors failed to diagnose the proper medical conditions.
Man Dies At Home Four Hours After Negligent Hospital Discharge
Robert, a 45 year-old husband and father of two, went to urgent care complaining of nausea and mild indigestion. He was evaluated, prescribed medication, and was advised to return to the clinic if his symptoms worsened.
Robert returned to urgent care about one hour later, was given additional medication, and with persistent symptoms, was sent to the ER for further evaluation. He was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for 48 hours before being discharged still complaining of abdominal pain and with an elevated white blood cell count.
Shortly after arriving home from the hospital, Robert began vomiting uncontrollably and appeared to stop breathing. His wife called 911 and started CPR. The emergency personnel continued efforts to attempt to resuscitate Robert. He died, in his living room, less than four hours after he was discharged from the hospital. His cause of death is listed as complications of peritonitis secondary to a thrombosed superior mesenteric artery.
Our attorneys and medical experts found the care Robert’s doctor and the hospital provided was negligent. The doctor and hospital deviated from the standard of care by failing to adequately recognize, diagnose and treat Robert’s symptoms and condition. Had the physician and hospital staff formed a proper differential diagnosis, the condition that caused Robert’s death would have been discovered. Surgery in combination with other supportive treatments could have avoided the complications of peritonitis and most likely would have saved Robert’s life.
The monetary settlement that our attorneys obtained at a pre-trial mediation will help support Robert’s wife, his daughter, and his 24 year-old disabled son.
Hospital Misdiagnoses Heart Attack - Man Dies
Gerald saw multiple doctors who failed to diagnose and treat him after experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and nausea, instead simply sending him home despite his desperate concern. He felt so ill that he visited an emergency room to see yet another doctor, where he was misdiagnosed with heartburn. He later died in his home, leaving his wife to pick up the pieces. She came to our attorneys to see what could be done, and seeking closure.
Our attorneys investigated the situation and found that Gerald had in fact died as the result of the negligence of multiple doctors. Our attorneys were able to hold the doctors accountable for their negligence. We helped our client put the pieces of her life back together and provided her with the peace of mind of knowing that those responsible acknowledged their wrong doing.
Young Mother Dies After Hospital’s Failure To Diagnose Infection
Amy, a young mother of a toddler and a newborn, visited a Durham, NC doctor for her routine post-partum follow-up visit. She mentioned that she had a fever, due to an infection from breast-feeding. She also had no spleen – and because of this, she should have been treated for any infection-related fever immediately. However, the doctor did not prescribe any antibiotics. Two days later, Amy was dead. Seeking closure and answers, her husband came to our attorneys.
Our attorneys were successful in pursuing a judgment against the responsible parties on behalf of Amy’s family. Though the money awarded to them could never take the place of their wife and mother, it has given her husband the resources he needs to provide proper care for their children.
Doctors Fail To Diagnose Prostate Cancer – Patient Dies
Two years in a row, during routine exams Mike’s doctor neglected to check his PSA – the screening test for prostate cancer. As a result, diagnosis of his cancer, and possible treatment, was unnecessarily delayed. Mike ultimately died of his prostate cancer.
When Mike’s family approached our attorneys, their main impetus was to prevent anything like this from happening to someone else. Through the lawsuit, our attorneys worked with the family to bring attention to the situation, and helped raise awareness of the seriousness of the problem. We were also able to obtain a fair settlement to help the family resolve their anger over Mike’s improper medical care.
NOTE: Names of clients have been changed for confidentiality reasons.