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Jury awards millions in case involving doctor errors

A person in New York who is sick enough to visit the emergency room places a great deal of faith in the medical care providers he or she will see while there. Often, these patients are in too much pain or experiencing too much anxiety to fully understand their medical situation. Unfortunately, the decisions that doctors must make often have life-altering implications. For example, a lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman in a persistent vegetative state claims that doctor errors resulted in brain damage.

At the time, the woman had a history of blood that was too thin. Traditionally when such an event occurred, she was treated with fresh frozen plasma, Vitamin K or some combination of the two. However, a doctor -- who, according to the lawsuit, had only recently completed medical school -- and her attending physician made the decision to administer a drug called Profilnine.

Because Profilnine carries a risk of blood clotting and thrombosis, hospital guidelines indicate that it is only to be used in the event that the patient's life is at risk due to bleeding or when emergency surgery is required. Unfortunately, the woman suffered a heart attack that caused brain damage due to blood clots. Although the hospital claimed that the woman was at fault for providing an inaccurate medical history, the woman's family members claimed that she put her faith in her doctors and provided information that she thought was accurate.

A jury recently awarded the woman $12 million, claiming that the defendants in the case where 80 percent at fault while she was 20 percent at fault. Emphasizing that the jury also found the patient at fault, representatives for the hospital claim that they will likely appeal. The verdict, however, will allow the woman to have the around-the-clock care that she reportedly needs as a result of her condition. Unfortunately, doctor errors have impacted people across the country, including those in New York; victims, who are often unsure of their options following such negligence, often choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties.

Source: tucson.com, "Tucson woman wins $12 million jury verdict against Banner-UMC in malpractice case", Stephanie Innes, Nov. 16, 2017

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