Cases in which medical errors result in a patient's death are among some of the most troubling and tragic. This is especially true when the individual impacted is young and has young children. A jury recently awarded the widow of a 34-year-old woman who died as a result of a medical error more than $10.8 million.
Suffering negative side effects associated with bronchitis, the woman went to the doctor to find relief. Upon administering tests, the woman's doctor believed there may be a problem with the woman's heart. A procedure was scheduled to more closely examine the woman's heart.
Upon performing what was described by doctors as a "routine procedure", the tip of a catheter cut into one of the woman's main coronary arteries. As a result, the artery collapsed. The medical mistake caused a significant decrease of blood flow to the woman's heart.
More than 50 minutes after the initial error occurred, the woman underwent corrective surgery. By this time, however, she was close to death and subsequently died.
The doctor and hospital involved contend all appropriate steps were taken to intervene in this unfortunate and rare incident. A jury, however, agreed they were responsible for causing the condition which lead to the woman's death and did not do enough to prevent her death.
As a result of the negligence on the part of both the doctor and hospital, three young children no longer have a mother. While nothing can ease the tremendous pain associated with the loss of a loved one, monies recovered through a medical malpractice lawsuit can help provide for those left behind.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "St. Louis County jury awards $10.8 million medical negligence verdict," Jim Doyle, Aug. 30, 2013