Medical malpractice in the elderly
Started by bealinda , Oct 30 2013 01:02 PM
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3 replies to this topic
Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:02 PM
Both my parents died due to medical malpractice yet I was unable to find attorney. Why is their age a factor when the medical errors were so abhorrent ?. I have been in a deep depression due to their deaths & insensitive comments & lack of accountability.
My father died due to failure to treat. He was a regular patient at Woodhull Hospital and his health was deteriorating but his geriatric specialist refused to admit him even though he was unable to eat & had lost a great deal of weight. The ambulette drivers were shocked when she did not admit him.
She sent him home with visiting nurse service & a speech & swallow therapist. However, she never responded to their calls when they needed to discuss a treatment plan.
I got him admitted to Wycoff Hospital where they hydrated him & inserted a PEG to administer nutrition directly. He made a remarkable recovery and was scheduled for discharge to a nursing home. However, his primary care doctor had gone on vacation & the covering doctor decided he was over-medicated & decided to stop all his medications a week before his discharge. On the day of his discharge he suffered a massive heart attack & died. I have since found that one of the drugs he was taking can cause an acute fatal heart attack if abruptly stopped.
In my mother's case, she had a history of gallstones for which she had been admitted to Long Island College Hospital before. I took her back to the hospital because she was complaining of stomach pain, shortness of breath & vomiting .
The geriatric specialist called a pulmonary specialist & treated her for pneumonia. She never requested a GI consult with the doctor who had previously treated her on her last admission.
She was aware my mother had been treated for gallstones.since she had been assigned to her through a consult from the GI service. She signed my mothers discharge papers & never saw her on the day she was discharged. I told a nurse that I did not feel she should be discharged since she continued to vomit & seemed confused.
She was transferred to a Rehab Center across the street from the hospital where I told the nurse there that she did not look right & she was not herself. Nothing was done. The next morning, less than 20 hours after the transfer, the same doctor called to tell me she was going to re-admit my mother because she had jaundice & was vomiting.
The GI doctor said she needed surgery. It took an extremely long time for a procedure that only takes 30-45 minutes. Afterwards he told me everything had gone well, but when I went to the recovery room she was still on a ventilator. He was unaware they were not able to wean her.
She was never able to be taken off the ventilator, & developed an infection that cause her skin to blister & peel off. She was treated by infectious disease. I was constantly complaining that the infected area was not kept in a sterile manner. And the ventilator tube was not replaced in the required time period & she developed thrush.
Posted Yesterday, 12:16 AM
Nobody deserves to die the way my parents did - what has age got to do with any of this?
Age matters because the damages in personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, are based on the harm suffered by the plaintiff. The two biggest parts of most damages claims include medical bills that were incurred that would have been avoided had the correct treatment been provided and income lost as a result of the injury and treatment (e.g. lost wages, etc., from being out of work and any loss of future earnings as a result of not being http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/11/experts_warn_of_mma_brain_injury_risk_to_fighters.html able to work, or work at the same occupation, as a result of any disability caused by the injury.
A person who is, say, age 80 and retired will have very limited damages to claim. He or she is not working and thus typically will not have any lost income as a result of the early death. He or she is also likely covered by Medicare for most medical treatment, so there may be little, if any, extra medical bills that the person incurred as a result of the injury. There might have been some pain and suffering in some cases to claim, but where the person dies quickly from a heart attack, for example, there isn't much to claim there either.
When there are few damages to claim, it may simply not be economical to pursue a medical malpractice claim. They are expensive to litigate, and unless the damages are large enough to significantly exceed the costs, it's not a worthwhile case to bring.
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