A 59-year-old woman from Baltimore, Maryland is suing Howard County General Hospital, a member hospital of the Johns Hopkins Health System, allegedly doctors failed to properly diagnose an infection which lead to the amputation of her arms and legs (note: although The Cochran Firm, D.C. represents victims of medical malpractice, we are not representing the plaintiff in this case). The woman was admitted three times to the hospital complaining of severe pain, but was discharged without the pain's source being determined.
In March 2012, while waiting to be discharged for a third time, the woman was found lying on her stretcher in a dazed state. The examination performed by doctors diagnosed her with a severe bacterial infection and organ failure, the resulting blood loss to her limbs caused gangrene and required amputation of both arms and legs. Doctors later determined the cause of her condition stemmed from infected tissue in her uterus.
The medical malpractice lawsuit claims Howard County General Hospital doctors acted negligently when they discharged her from the hospital without determining the source of her pain even though ultrasounds of her uterus showed a large collection of fluids. Because doctors did not order a comprehensive pelvic examination, the lawsuit alleges they acted with negligence when they discharged her from the hospital.
Doctors have a duty to provide proper care to their patients and when a breach of this duty occurs, this can be grounds for a suit of negligence. The amount of compensation collected by the victim depends on the damages suffered and a variety of other factors.
A wrongful or improper amputation of a limb can occur for a number of reasons. They include miscommunications between referring physicians and the surgeon, professional incompetence by the surgeon removing the wrong body part, or even complications during surgery requiring emergency amputation. It should be noted that amputation resulting from surgical complications may not necessarily be negligence if the patient was adequately warned of the risks prior to surgery.
Every year, thousands of individuals suffer an improper amputation and have their lives changed forever. If an improper amputation occurs, the doctors, surgeons, nurses and hospital may be guilty of a breach of their legal duty to provide reasonable care to their patients. Patients affected by wrongful amputation may be eligible for substantial compensation based on factors including age, occupation, income, emotional distress, and marital status. Other damages stemming from a wrongful amputation include medical costs of prosthetics, physical therapy, and future medical conditions arising from the amputation such as arthritis and back pain from wearing prosthetic limbs.
If you or someone you love experienced the trauma of an improper amputation due to the negligence of healthcare workers, The Cochran Firm’s Washington, D.C. office can help. Our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to securing our clients the compensation they deserve. Please contact us at your earliest convenience for a free and prompt case review at 202-682-5800 or fill out a contact form. Because deadlines apply when filing a wrongful amputation claim, please contact us as soon as possible in order to preserve your rights.