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    Missed kidney cancer diagnosis leads to death, legal action

    Prompt settlement often prudent in malpractice cases involving clear caregiver error


    Loss of testicle due to insufficient blood flow

    A 10-year-old boy was brought to an Illinois hospital due to pelvic pain. It was determined that the left testicle was undescended and remained in the inguinal canal. An ultrasound was done and interpreted that there was sufficient blood flow to the testicle, and the patient was discharged.

    Read: Telephone triage can jeopardize patient safety, lead to litigation

    Two days later, he presented to a different hospital where it was determined that the blood flow to the testicle was insufficient and by that time there was irreversible damage and removal was required.

    A malpractice case was filed against the physician who interpreted the ultrasound incorrectly and the case was settled for $400,000.

    Patient injured during lithotripsy and bladder procedure

    A lawsuit was filed after a 44-year-old New York man underwent lithotripsy to break up kidney stones and a procedure to explore his bladder. After the kidney procedure, the patient was moved to another table to perform the bladder exploration. He claimed the OR staff did not use the proper technique while transferring him and he was dropped during the transfer, injuring his back and neck.

    Also see: How surgical time-outs may (or may not) lower litigation risk

    The defense asserted that the patient did not fall, but that his weight shifted during the transfer, and the staff correctly decided to lower him to the floor. They claimed that the patient had no proof he had fallen. The jury returned a defense verdict after deliberating for an hour at the conclusion of a 5-day trial.

    Next: Burn injuries from transurethral microwave therapy

    Dawn Collins, JD
    MS COLLINS is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, California. She welcomes feedback on this column via ...


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