A major university hospital has settled a medical malpractice case for $1.25 million. The patient in question underwent surgery for testicular cancer, but the surgery become complicated due to a hemorrhage and cardiac failure that occurred while the surgery was ongoing. This has resulted in a brain injury so severe that the patient is now in a vegetative state.
Pennsylvania has spent a significant amount of time revamping its reporting requirements for hospital errors. However, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report (HHS), hospitals across the country are ignoring state requirements for reporting of errors where patients may have been harmed.
A professor at the University of Pennsylvania has noted that experience in and of itself does mean the doctor is less prone to error. Doctors often rely on anecdotal evidence concerning what has worked in the past, but such physicians have not always kept up with what is current in the medical field.
We can likely expect similar awards in Pennsylvania to what was delivered by a jury in the District of Columbia. There, a jury awarded $5 million to the family of a man that died after a doctor failed to diagnose this individual's cancer.
In what is thought to be one of the largest medical malpractice awards in Pennsylvania history, a jury recently awarded $6.4 million to the five children of a man whose heart condition was misdiagnosed as pneumonia. As a result of the failure to undiagnosed heart condition, the man was discharged and later died after suffering a massive heart attack.
A Pennsylvania doctor expressed concerns about how Lyme disease is not always being identified properly. This is of particular concern during the summer months, and during a year when the rate of Lyme disease is expected to be quite high. However, since Lyme disease is an extremely common disease with potentially serious consequences, it is extremely important that it is identified early on rather than misidentified due to a misdiagnosis.
A 62-year old patient was treated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for bleeding of the brain, and it is alleged that the doctors treating him were guilty of a number of medical mistakes that led to the man dying. Though the family of the deceased filed a medical malpractice claim against UPMC and four treating doctors, the claims against the doctors were dropped in exchange for a $1.37 million settlement to the family.
Pennsylvania residents may take for granted that no mistakes will be made when one undergoes a routine surgical procedure. Unfortunately, such procedures are where most medical errors actually take place.