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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Man sues after losing the wrong testicle in surgery

Imagine the surprise and anger you would feel if you went under the knife only to find out that the wrong body part was operated on. Not only would you need additional surgery, but now you may have irreparable injuries as a result of the surgical error.

That's more or less what happened in this case involving a man who underwent surgery to remove one of his testicles. The June 18 report made national news when a jury in Pennsylvania determined that the award for the man's suffering should be $870,000.

Oregon case makes it easier to claim for loss of chance theory

What can you do if you're in pain and sick but a doctor doesn't diagnose you correctly? It's normal to file a claim for medical malpractice, but something that you can also seek out is compensation for the "loss of chance," thanks to a current case in Oregon. This legal theory rides on the allegation that the patient lost his or her right to a chance at recovery due to medical negligence.

In the case in Oregon, a man went to the hospital complaining about symptoms that would typically point to a stroke as a cause. He was experiencing issues like slurred speech and a headache. When the doctor spoke to him, she also did a neurological exam and ordered a computerized tomography scan, or CT scan. When she did not discover anything indicative of his need to stay in the hospital, the doctor sent him home telling him to stop his sleep aid.

Misdiagnosing a brain injury can have devastating consequences

A misdiagnosis of brain swelling can be devastating to a patient. When the brain swells, quick action needs to be taken to release pressure. Unlike other parts of the body, the brain is trapped inside a hard skull, which does not flex or expand when the brain swells. Since this is the case, brain swelling can actually lead to severe injuries that may worsen if the swelling is not reduced quickly.

Brain swelling is caused by a number of things. For example, if you're in a car crash and hit your head on the window, you may suffer an injury that results in your brain swelling. Brain swelling is diagnosed with a neurological exam, head and neck exam, computerized tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging scans and blood tests depending on the potential cause of the swelling.

What are some common medical errors?

There are many good doctors who make mistakes, but even they must be held accountable for their errors. If someone learns from a mistake, it's possible to prevent injuries to others in the future. If the mistake is severe enough, it's possible the medical provider should not be licensed.

There are a number of common mistakes that you need to look out for as a patient. The first is being treated incorrectly because the medical provider has mixed you up with another patient. Whether you are in a hospital or a local doctor's office, your doctors and nurses should verify your name and your date of birth each time you book an appointment and arrive at the office. If you feel the doctor is saying confusing things or seems to be talking about someone else, make sure to speak up.

Physician-patient privilege may be waived for your case

If someone you love passes away due to mistakes made at a hospital or by a physician, then your family may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. One thing you may find troublesome is that there is physician-patient privilege that could make it hard to obtain your loved one's medical records.

In the United States, a person's medical records stay private even after death, which is why it can be difficult to obtain those records without a court order. Physician-patient privilege is there to protect patients from having their medical information shared without consent, but in a case of a wrongful death, that information is necessary in order to make a claim.

Can you file a lawsuit if you suffer from a misdiagnosis?

If you suffer from a misdiagnosis, it can easily change your life. For example, if you had an early stage of cancer that was misdiagnosed, then the diagnosis you do receive could happen so much later that it's too late to receive treatment at all.

If you have skin cancer and have been misdiagnosed, you may be able to sue your medical provider for failing to diagnose your illness. It's not always easy to prove that a doctor makes a mistake or that he or she is liable for the misdiagnosis, but your attorney can help you review your case's facts to determine if you have a claim.

Proving fault: Starting a medical malpractice case

When you suffer at the hands of a medical practitioner, it's your right to pursue a medical malpractice case. This case can help you get the compensation you need for further medical care and to help you recover what you've already spent for the care you received.

To receive a settlement offer or to win a medical malpractice trial, you'll have to be able to prove fault. You know that not every failure doctors have is not a result of negligence or errors; some complications or treatments simply aren't predictable. What you should know is how to recognize it when a doctor's standard of care isn't up to the standard you should expect.

Man dies after hospital fails to stop blood loss

When a patient's blood work clearly states that he or she has a clotting disorder or blood disorder, it's important for medical providers to take that seriously. Not doing so can lead to a patient bleeding profusely and potentially dying.

Oregon Health and Science University is facing a pair of lawsuits over the death of a man. According to the news from April 27, the state lawsuit is seeking $2.75 million from OHSU, and a federal lawsuit seeks $3.75 million at minimum. Both lawsuits are seeking reparations for the same incident, one in which a man's civil rights were violated.

If your doctor was negligent, you can file a malpractice lawsuit

Imagine going to the doctor because your leg has been hurting more than normal lately. You always knew you had problems with your joints, and you had a history of arthritis. You make it clear that you feel this pain is different and that you haven't been feeling very well lately. Your doctor assumes it's still arthritis and puts you on a new medication.

Unfortunately, the pain continues, and you soon find out you have Stage 3 cancer. You had to go to a different doctor to find out, and now you're facing chemotherapy and surgeries to try to save your life. You may have caught the cancer sooner if your doctor had ordered the correct tests early on.

Avoiding surgical errors: What you can do to help

Surgical errors can quickly cause a patient to suffer unnecessary pain and even to have to go through additional surgeries that wouldn't have been necessary. Sometimes, these errors end up leaving a patient with a disability, and other times the wrong body part or organ is operated on, rendering a healthy body part useless or damaging it unnecessarily.

Patients do have ways to help reduce the risk of these incidents occurring. Remember, no matter what you've heard about a doctor from your social circles, it's always important to compare medical providers. You need to know who has performed a surgery, how many times its been performed and the outcomes of those surgeries if possible. It's wonderful if there are people who can give a good review of the surgeon for you, but it's also telling if you hear negative stories about surgeries performed.

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