According to the Washington Post, a Fairfax family was awarded $1.25 million after a medical mistake by an Alexandria radiologist.
What went wrong?
We all know that medical errors, no matter how small, can become big. For example, charting errors can turn into medical malpractice. Those errors can mean giving a patient the wrong drug, or an ineffective dose of the drug, or giving the patient a drug that they are allergic to.
In this case, a misdiagnosis was the cause of this man's injuries. More on misdiagnosis here and what it can mean for medical malpractice.
In this case, the Fairfax man had a torn esophagus that his radiologist misdiagnosed as a hernia. He had spent a long time suffering through chest pains - chest pains that would not go away no matter how many painkillers and other oral medications his doctors were giving him. Unfortunately, by the time the correct diagnosis was made, his esophagus was so weak that treatment was all but ineffective and the man died of cardiac arrest.
A surgeon is noted as saying "if he hadn't been so sick" when they discovered the diagnosis that "he wouldn't have arrested."
Too often, hospitals and doctors are not held accountable for preventable harm caused to patients. Hopefully the money this family receives will help with the economic harms and losses caused by medical malpractice. And as medical malpractice lawyers, we want to see our cases help people in the future, by forcing hospitals to put patient safety first and change their practices so these kind of injuries and tragedies are prevented.
If that happens, call us or order one of our free guides or reports. And if you're a parent dealing with the devastating consequences of medical malpractice involving a child, we've published Picking Up the Pieces After Medical Malpractice: A Parent's Guide just for you - as a starting point to help you and your family.
It's free, and we offer it to anyone who has been harmed by a doctor, nurse or other health care professional. All you have to do is contact us here, or give us a call at 202-393-3320 and we'll send it to you.