The Watertown Daily Times reported on the filing of a new medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a son following his father’s passing. The 65-year old medical patient died, the lawsuit alleges, a few weeks after he went into a hospital because of medical errors. The family is seeking compensation and accountability for the fatal accidents from the hospital and doctors.
The patient checked into the defendant facility in late July of 2011 to receive treatment for an arm injury. While receiving treatment, the man was diagnosed with an enlarged spleen and thrombocythemia. Thrombocythemia refers to an excessive number of blood platelets in the body. He was discharged from the facility after the diagnosis.
About a week and a half later he went back to the hospital to have a test to rule out the possibility that he suffered from leukemia. The test was a bone marrow biopsy. However, the medical malpractice suit suggests that serious errors were made by the doctor during that test. Specifically, documents filed with the court initiating the suit claim that during the test the man’s right ilium was broken during the test–the ilium is the largest bone in the pelvis. In addition, the iliac artery was allegedly injured.
The complaint does not mince words when describing the errors, noting that the the “aspiration biopsy deviated from reasonable standards of medical care and [the doctor] was not competent or qualified to perform the procedure.”
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers know that medical errors often have a domino effect, leading to other complications. That seems to be what happened in this case. Unfortunately, the artery damage went undiagnosed following the test. He was discharged and told to leave the facility. Yet, he only made it as far as the hospital parking lot when he fainted and was rushed back into the emergency room.
Emergency room doctors conducted a CT scan which indicated that he had abdominal hemorrhaging. He received several blood transfusions and doctors had to resuscitate him at one point. Later that afternoon he was rushed to a different hospital where further life-saving treatments were tried. None of them were successful, and the man died at the second facility later that night.
Eventually the man’s family decided to contact a medical malpractice lawyer to learn about their legal rights. As with most families in similar situations, they likely did not know exactly what caused their father’s passing but the situation hinted strongly as some sort of problem with the care provided. Fortunately, the attorney was able to investigate more and get details about what caused the accident.
It is a sad reality that real answers following medical complications can sometimes only be gotten in the context of legal action. Many medical establishments are less than forthright about the circumstances leading to unexpected medical errors. Yet, in the context of a lawsuit, families (and their attorneys) have some legal tools to demand answers. Part of the process (called “discovery”) involves the exchange of information, where medical records are handed over and interviews are conducted so that, often for the first time, families are given real information to help figure out what went wrong.