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Posts Tagged ‘California medical malpractice cases’

Two Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed Against California Nursing Home

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

A California nursing home in Northern California recently had two medical malpractice wrongful death cases filed against it for the deaths of two of its residents that occurred during 2011.

Case No. 1

In the first case, a man was admitted into the hospital in January, 2011, for treatment of his kidney disease and an infection. After being treated in the hospital, he was discharged to the nursing home for what was supposed to be a short stay for physical rehabilitation while his family arranged for medical care at his home. While in the nursing home, less than one hour after being left alone in his bed in his room, he was found lying unconscious on the floor of his room, suffering from a head injury. He died in the hospital two days later due to brain swelling.

The medical malpractice case filed by his family alleges that the nursing home failed to hire enough staff to take care of its residents’ needs, including the man who died, and that the negligence of the nursing home and its staff led to the man’s injuries and death.

Case No. 2

In the second case, a woman was transferred in February, 2011 from a hospital where she had been treated for her breathing problems to the nursing home for rehabilitative care. The medications that the woman was supposed to get at the nursing home included morphine sulfate and Xanax, which were ordered to be given three times a day (that is, every eight hours). Instead, as the medical malpractice case filed on behalf of her estate alleges, she was given the morphine sulfate and the Xanax at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. (that is, every four hours during the day time hours), which caused her to receive much more morphine sulfate and Xanax over a much shorter period of time than prescribed by her doctors.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that as a result of being over-medicated with the morphine sulfate and the Xanax, the woman became medically distressed and had to be transported to a hospital emergency room for evaluation and treatment. The woman was diagnosed as having been overdosed with morphine that was causing kidney failure. She died two and a half weeks later in the hospital from acute renal failure that was allegedly caused by the medication overdose.

Source

Medication errors in nursing homes are not uncommon. Medication errors in nursing homes include the failure to provide the prescribed medications to the appropriate residents at the proper times, giving the wrong medications to the wrong residents, giving multiple medications to residents in combinations that are contra-indicated or dangerous, and not promptly and appropriately addressing changes in the residents’ physical and/or mental conditions that may require a change in medications or dosages, etc. Any medication error in a nursing home can cause harm (or worse) to a resident, especially in an elderly population or very sick population such as found in most nursing homes.

Nursing home medication errors may also result from residents being unable to participate in their own medical care such as questioning the medications that are being given to them, due to their dementia or other medical or mental conditions (for instance, a patient in a hospital who has been receiving a “blue pill” every four hours may question why all of a sudden a “pink pill” is being offered to the patient whereas a nursing home resident who may not have all of his/her mental faculties may not notice the change or be aware that he/she should question the change).

If you, a loved one, a family member, or someone you know has suffered injuries in a nursing home that may be due to medical negligence, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney who may be able to investigate a possible medical malpractice claim.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to assist you with a medical malpractice claim for nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse. You may also reach us by toll free telephone call to 800-295-3959.

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California Medical Malpractice Verdict For Migraine Treatment That Caused A Stroke

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

On March 19, 2012, after more than three weeks of trial, a California medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in the amount of $22 million in favor of a woman who suffered a debilitating stroke as a result of an invasive and risky diagnostic procedure recommended by her doctors for her life-long migraine headaches that her medical experts at trial said was unnecessary and dangerous and would not have provided any benefit to the woman based on the results of the non-invasive imaging tests that she had already undergone.

The woman claimed, and the medical malpractice jury determined, that she had not given her informed consent for the procedure because the risks of the procedure, the alternatives to the procedure, and the need for the procedure were not properly discussed with her in order to provide her the opportuntiy to make an informed decision whether to have the procedure.

What Happened To The Woman?

In 2006, the woman had a cerebral angiogram, which is an invasive and risky procedure that involved injecting dye into a vein that the woman’s doctors suggested may be the cause her migraine headaches. As a direct result of the procedure, the woman suffered a stroke that caused her to lapse into a coma for six weeks. When she awoke from her coma, she was unable to use the right side of her body and had limited use of the left side of her body. She needed around-the-clock care and was unable to speak or move for months after her stroke. She had to undergo exhaustive therapy that included physical therapy, speech therapy, and many other forms of therapy in order to recover from her injuries as much as possible.

At the time of the medical malpractice trial, the woman was able to speak slowly, sit in a wheelchair, and had the use of her left arm, but she needs assistance in order to stand. She still needs around-the-clock care and has to be turned every two hours at night in order to avoid developing bed sores.

The $22 million medical malpractice verdict included $2 million for the woman’s past medical expenses and her loss of earnings, $14 million for her future economic losses including necessary future medical care, and $6 million for her pain and suffering. The woman’s medical expenses are between $300,000.00 and $350,000.00 per year due to the injuries she sustained.

The $6 million that the medical malpractice jury awarded the woman for her noneconomic damages (her pain and suffering ) will be automatically reduced to and capped at $250,000.00, due to California’s cap on noneconomic damages. In other words, the woman will not receive $5,750,000.00 of the medical malpractice verdict that the jury determined to be fair compensation for the pain and suffering that she has suffered since the procedure in 2006, and for her pain and suffering that she will experience each and every day for the rest of her life, due to the medical negligence.

Source

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in California or in another U.S. state, the services of a medical malpractice attorney may be essential in order for you to obtain the compensation for your  injuries and losses that the law allows you to obtain.

Click here to visit our website  or call us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to assist you in investigating your medical malpractice claim and to file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.

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California Hospital Malpractice Results In Suffocation Death — And $100,000 Fine

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

According to California health regulators, the long-term nursing unit of a California hospital was responsible for the negligent medical treatment and death of an 81-year-old woman in June, 2011, who had a breathing tube in her throat. The investigative report determined that the nurse who was changing the woman’s breathing tube failed to remove the cap on the new breathing tube, which caused the woman to die by suffocation because she could not get any air into her lungs.

The hospital was fined $100,000 by the State of California (the maximum allowable fine) for its alleged failure to have procedures in place for replacing patients’ breathing tubes. The hospital has indicated its plan to appeal the fine.

There are about 1,300 nursing homes in California. About 20 of them are fined the maximum amount each year.

The woman had been in a vegetative state for about one year after suffering a stroke. She was able to open her eyes but she could not communicate with others or follow directions. While she was able to breath on her own, the breathing tube was used for medical treatments.

Source

One can only imagine if the woman was aware of her dire circumstances while she suffocated to death. One would hope that she was not. Can anyone imagine the pain and anguish that the woman would have felt if she was aware that she could not breath and that she could not resolve her breathing problem on her own?

When a patient must rely completely and solely on the care of others who are supposed to be professionally trained in providing medical care that is required in order to sustain life, even a seemingly small oversight such as failing to remove the end cap of a new breathing tube after replacing an old breathing tube may result in catastrophic and irreversible injuries or death.

While it may be safely assumed that the nurse who failed to remove the cap on the woman’s breathing tube had no intention of making that medical mistake, and many people may empathize with the nurse’s probable reaction and feelings when she discovered that her medical error caused her patient to suffocate to death, one must not lose sight of the fact that a person died a horrible and unnecessary death as a result of  medical negligence.

The extent of the harm caused by negligent medical care is not always directly related to the egregiousness of the negligent act or omission that was the cause of the injuries suffered. The smallest mistake may result in the ultimate injury – death. A moment’s lapse in judgment or the slightest distraction when providing necessary medical care is all that is needed to set in motion the chain of events that forever impact a patient’s enjoyment of life. An unconscious patient or a patient otherwise unaware of a medical provider’s mistake or error is most at risk for suffering the consequences of medical malpractice. Many patients are not even aware that medical malpractice was the cause of their “bad medical outcome”; they only know that they suffered unintended or unexpected results from their medical treatment.

Compounding the problem of discovering whether medical malpractice was the cause of a patient’s injuries is the fact that the very medical providers who may have committed medical malpractice are the ones who write and create the medical records that often fail to reveal the full extent of the medical errors or mistakes that caused the harm to the patients.

If the medical malpractice of a medical provider such as a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, doctor, nurse, medical aide, or other caregiver has caused you or a family member to suffer pain, injuries, or death, the legal services of medical malpractice attorneys in your local area may be helpful in filing a medical malpractice claim for compensation for your losses.

Click here to visit our website  to be connected with local medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim. You may also reach us toll free at 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn as well!

Medical Malpractice Cases In California – Official Administrative Statistics

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The Medical Board of California is a state government agency that licenses and disciplines medical doctors and investigates complaints against physicians in California (not just medical malpractice complaints but other complaints as well).

Based on the records maintained by the Board, complaints against California physicians to the Board have generally been declining over the past 10 years (from 10,445 complaints during fiscal year 1999-2000 to 6,539 in fiscal year 2009-2010). The average time to investigate complaints made to the Board increased from 206 days in fiscal year 1999-2000 to 328 days in fiscal year 2009-2010. The total license suspension orders while administrative actions were pending remained relatively consistent for the same period (44 in fiscal year 1999-2000 and 50 in fiscal year 2009-2010). The total number of in-state physicians and surgeons licensed in California during fiscal year 2008-2009 was reported to be 99,900 (the number of in-state licensed physicians and surgeons in California has increased in each of the last 10 years).

The total disciplinary actions taken by the Board during fiscal year 2009-2010 was 349 (of which 167 were due to negligence), which represented an increase from the previous fiscal year.

Source: Medical Board of California

If you think that you may have a medical malpractice case against a California doctor or a doctor anywhere in the United States, use our free service to find a local medical malpractice lawyer to investigate your claim or call us toll free 800-295-3959.