On May 18, 2012, a medical malpractice jury in Georgia awarded just over $1 million to a man who had filed a medical malpractice lawsuit that claimed that his doctor had failed to order necessary blood tests and urine tests that should have been ordered and would have prevented the patient from developing kidney failure due to the blood pressure medications he was taking. The medical malpractice jury deliberated for about one day after a one-week trial before rendering its verdict.
The medical malpractice jury determined that the man’s losses were $2 million but reduced the amount that the man was entitled to receive by 43%, which the jury determined was the man’s portion of his own responsibility for his kidney failure, and further determined that the doctor was 57% at fault and therefore was responsible to pay $1,060,000 to the man for his injuries.
The medical malpractice claim focused on the doctor prescribing three medications for the man (Lisinipril, Hydrochlorthiazide, and Toprol) which, when combined with other medications the man was taking, allegedly caused the man’s kidney failure. It was alleged that the doctor was negligent by failing to monitor his patient’s kidney function by ordering blood tests and urine tests to measure his kidney function, by failing to explain the risks of the medications to his patient, and by failing to discuss and recommend certain lifestyle changes for his patient.
One juror noted after the verdict that the doctor ordered blood tests after prescribing a vitamin B-12 shot but failed to order blood tests or urine tests during the four and one-half years that the man was taking blood pressure medications that are known to increase the risk of kidney failure.
The doctor has indicated that he will file an appeal.
Many prescription medications, including blood pressure medications, have known risks associated with their use. One of the known risks of many blood pressure medications is kidney failure. By ordering routine and periodic blood tests and urine tests while patients are taking blood pressure medications, treating physicians can monitor for any changes in the test results that may indicate developing problems or changes in medical condition. If deteriorating changes in medical condition are discovered early enough, adjustments may be made in medications or treatment can be started earlier that may prevent or minimize injury or organ damage that would otherwise result if the deteriorating medical condition was not diagnosed in time.
If you, a family member, a loved one, or a friend may have been injured as a result of a health care provider’s failure to monitor medications or to order required medical tests, you may be the victim of medical malpractice and the negligent medical provider may be held responsible for your injuries and losses.
A medical malpractice attorney may help you investigate your possible medical malpractice claim and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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