A Rockland County, New York medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in favor of a 52-year-old man who alleged that his untreated infection left him with a permanent and painful hip condition. After a three-week trial that ended on July 31, 2014, the medical malpractice jury held the head of the orthopedic surgery department of a local hospital responsible for failing to treat the man’s hip infection that resulted in the man having to undergo a hip replacement three months later.
The man’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that he had an MRI done in late September 2010, at which time he received an injection that caused an infection. He checked himself into the local hospital on September 29, 2010, after which a routine culture was performed that allegedly indicated a serious bacterial infection. The defendant orthopedic surgeon met with the man in the hospital on October 1, 2010, and the man was discharged from the hospital without further treatment after a 25-minute examination by the defendant, despite the availability of the lab results that showed that the man had a serious bacterial infection that needed immediate treatment.
Two days after his discharge from the hospital, the man was rushed back to the hospital early in the morning. Unfortunately, by that time, the serious bacterial infection irreparably damaged his hip, leading to the otherwise unnecessary hip replacement. As a result, the man has been unable to return to work as a construction worker and he is limited in participating in the activities that he used to enjoy.
The man’s medical malpractice lawyer stated after the jury found the defendant orthopedic surgeon liable to his client for his injuries and damages, “Doctors shouldn’t take needless risks that endanger their patients by prematurely discharging them. Patient safety requires that there be a follow-up on test results, especially when a misdiagnosis is likely to result in substantial injury.”
This New York medical malpractice case may be a prime example where a seemingly simple and routine aspect of medical care, i.e., checking on the results of a medical test before making medical decisions with incomplete or faulty information, may lead to significant or deadly consequences if not followed. The more and better information a physician has about a patient’s condition, the more likely that the physician’s diagnosis and treatment plan will be appropriate and effective. There is no excuse for not obtaining and reviewing all available medical test results, even if the physical examination of the patient alone may appear to lead to a certain diagnosis, when the consequences of a “medical mistake” or “medical error” may have dire consequences for the patient.
If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) due to medical negligence in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a New York medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with New York medical malpractice lawyers (or medical malpractice lawyers in your state) who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.