Family receives $4.5 million for woman's death

The world of medical malpractice can be a scary one for patients and their family members. Pennsylvania residents go to doctors or other providers on a regular basis and should be able to know that they are in safe hands. Whether a surgical mistake, a failure to diagnose, improper treatment or some other problem, the repercussions of a medical error can be extremely serious and lifelong.

One Massachusetts family knows the pain of such situations all too well after having lost a loved one due to the delayed treatment of two doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital. The 62-year old woman had been sent to Massachusetts General Hospital by physicians at another hospital who identified via scans that the sharp end of a broken rib was pointing right at her aorta. Staff at the first hospital believed that Massachusetts General Hospital could offer her the best help.

Upon arriving at the second hospital, however, no treatment was performed and no further x-rays or other images were taken. The woman was simply admitted, given an epidural to ease her pain and monitored. The next morning, the cough that doctors had noted the day before pushed the rib into her aorta, triggering cardiac arrest. Despite efforts to provide treatment at that point, the woman died approximately 19 minutes later. Her family filed a lawsuit for the delayed treatment. They were recently been awarded $4.5 million to be paid by the two attending physicians.

When seemingly preventable problems develop into serious or even deadly ones, the pain that people must face can be great. Justice and compensation are possible and may be easier to receive with the help of an attorney who has experience in this area of law.

Source: Boston Globe, “MGH doctors to pay $4.5m over death,” April 16, 2014