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Doctor’s ordering of test results in man’s paralysis injury

When a medical emergency presents, doctors and surgeons are often called upon to make decisions that may ultimately impact whether a patient lives or dies. Despite working under extreme conditions, emergency department doctors are highly trained and experienced professionals who must rely upon their skills and judgement to ensure for the best possible outcome with regard to a patient's health and wellbeing.

A man and his wife were recently awarded a settlement in the amount of $2.85 million dollars related to a medical malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed after a doctor's decision to order a patient undergo a CAT scan, resulted in the man sustaining debilitating injuries that left him partially paralyzed.

According to court documents, the man was rushed to the emergency room after suffering serious injuries in a car accident. The man's most serious injuries included those to his forearm where several arteries were severed. While attempting to stabilize and prep the man for emergency surgery, the attending physician ordered that the man be moved to undergo a CAT scan on his knee.

At the time the doctor ordered the patient be moved to undergo the CAT scan, his blood pressure was dangerously low. Despite this and other signs of severe distress, however, the doctor insisted the man be moved. While undergoing the CAT scan, the man suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing. Thankfully, emergency room personnel were able to resuscitate him, but his heart effectively stopped pumping blood for eight to 27 minutes.

As a result of the heart attack and respiratory arrest, the man sustained severe damage to his spinal cord. Today, he is paralyzed from approximately the waist down. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon who ordered the CAT scan, citing the doctor's actions directly contributed to his injuries.

A jury agreed, and recently awarded the man a settlement in the amount of $2.3 million dollars. Additionally the man's wife, who is his sole caregiver, was awarded a settlement in the sum of $500,000.

Source: Myrtle Beach Online, Jury awards $2.85 million in Myrtle Beach area medical malpractice lawsuit," David Wren, Sep. 17, 2013

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