Medical Malpractice (see case results)
Medical malpractice comes in all shapes and sizes. Medical malpractice can be at a hospital, in a nursing home or at a doctor’s office. Many of the cases we handle arise at a doctor’s office and many happen at a hospital. These cases often are the result of a doctor just not paying enough attention to what the patient says or just some symptoms that a nurse is trying to get to the doctor. Sometimes these are complaints that the patient is making or sometimes they are test results or x-rays. Here are some of the common situations that occur but there are many that are not listed here:
1. Doctor doesn’t come to the hospital.
Many times a patient is admitted to the hospital and his condition is worsening. The doctor is at his office or somewhere else and fails to appreciate how serious the patient’s illness is. If the doctor is trying to handle things over the phone the doctor often can make a mistake.
2. Nurse doesn’t give the doctor enough information.
Often times the nurse doesn’t want to disturb a doctor with a phone call or, when the nurse does talk to the doctor, the nurse doesn’t give adequate information to the doctor. Sometimes test results are available but the nurse doesn’t bring this to the doctor’s attention or there is some ailment about the patient that the nurse just doesn’t communicate – such as blood pressure, fever, etc. The nurse has a responsibility to keep the doctor very well informed.
3. Office appointments.
Often times the patient comes to a doctor’s office with physical complaints that are extremely serious and the patient is sent home when the patient should be sent to the hospital. Or perhaps a doctor fails to understand the seriousness of an injury and fails to prescribe a medication that the doctor should prescribe. As well, sometimes the doctor prescribes the medication that should not be prescribed for a particular patient. Many drugs carry specific warnings that they should not be used under certain circumstances. Doctors are supposed to know everything there is to know about medications that they write a prescription for but that often is not the case.
4. Doctor fails to order tests.
Whether a doctor is at his office or has a patient in the hospital a doctor has at his disposal x-rays, CT-scans, blood tests, urine tests, etc. A doctor has the responsibility to make use of these tests in a reasonable manner so as to uncover information about a patient that will help the doctor help the patient. Often times the doctor fails to order a particular test that should have been ordered.
5. Failure to recognize heart attacks.
Heart attacks and strokes are illnesses where time is of the essence. Just a few minutes can often mean the difference between life and death in heart attacks. You would think that a heart attack would be easy to recognize but you’d be surprised at how many doctors send patients away from emergency rooms or away from their offices when these patients have either just had a heart attack or are in the middle of a heart attack. Often these patients die hours later. Sometimes they are sent home when they should have had a cardio workup. This means that if the doctor had made a proper diagnosis and sent the patient to the heart doctor that it would have been discovered that the patient had serious heart disease. These cases are usually ones in which the patient dies weeks or even months after the contact with the doctor because they had a heart condition that they weren’t aware of.
6. Doctor misreads x-rays.
X-rays require skill and experience to be properly read. Often times a doctor in an office reads an x-ray or a doctor in an emergency reads an x-ray. That same x-ray is later read by an expert – a radiologist – who sees something completely different. Sometimes even an expert radiologist fails to understand something on an x-ray and reads it the wrong way. These misread x-ray cases are very common and sometimes are easy to prove because a jury can be shown the x-ray and can be shown what the doctor didn’t see.
Something like a broken bone or a tumor on an x-ray that is untreated can often result in serious problems for the patient if not treated early.
7. Test results.
In a hospital setting a doctor orders a test and then a laboratory performs the test and creates a report. These test results are supposed to be communicated to the doctor. The test results are often created on a computer format and available to the doctor. Both the doctor and the hospital have a responsibility to determine what these test results are and to communicate that information to the doctor as soon as they are available. Often times test results don’t get communicated to the doctor at all and the doctor forgets that he even asks for the test.
If you feel your loved one might have been a victim of medical malpractice please call the Berry Law Firm at 800 455-7892 or 405 524-1040 to discuss your situation.
Berry only works on a commission known as a "contingency fee" so his clients never have to pay for consultations or representation unless Berry delivers the client a satisfactory settlement.