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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Chris Cornell's widow sues his doctor for medical malpractice

Chris Cornell entertained people in Oregon and all over the world as the lead singer of the popular bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. In May 2017 the world was stunned to learn that the singer had been found dead in his hotel room. Cornell had reportedly committed suicide by hanging. His widow has now filed a lawsuit against his doctor for medical malpractice, blaming the doctor for the star's death.

Cornell had been open about the fact that he had struggled with drug addiction for years.   His latest struggle was reportedly with medications he was prescribed by his own doctor. According to his wife, Cornell's doctor recklessly prescribed him large amounts of Ativan and Oxycodone. He had also been prescribed a painkiller following a shoulder surgery the previous year.

Settlement ends medical negligence trial early

Doctors in Oregon and across the entire country have a tremendous amount of responsibility. They must have thorough knowledge of a vast variety of ailments, medicines and body systems. They must be meticulous in their diagnosis, treatment, communication and record-keeping. If any one of these items is neglected in any way someone's health can be compromised and the doctors may be held financially accountable. That is what happened to a doctor in another state who found himself accused of medical negligence in a wrongful death case.

The doctor saw a 55-year-old patient who complained of a rash on his left ankle and severe pain in his right knee. The patient had already been seen by different physicians at the practice three times within the previous month for the rash and was on medication they prescribed. This doctor treated the man for degenerative arthritis and gout and ordered multiple blood tests. The following morning the patient was taken to the emergency room where it was discovered he suffered from sepsis and was in multi-organ failure. The man's condition was so bad that he passed away later the same day.

Doctor accused of medical malpractice after two mistakes

There is an elevated level of respect that people tend to have for doctors in Oregon and across the country. Many view doctors as highly intelligent, professional and extremely competent. They are placed on a pedestal perhaps because their existence is so crucial, and people like to think of the ones they entrust with their very lives as somehow superhuman and incapable of mistakes. It is almost inconceivable that a doctor could make a huge mistake not only once, but twice. That is unfortunately the situation with a doctor in another state who faces medical malpractice accusations stemming from a mistake he made two different times with one patient.

Removing polyps from patients' colons is a quite common procedure for gastroenterologists. The defendant in this case, a gastroenterologist, had attempted to remove a polyp twice from the colon of a female patient. The first procedure was performed in 2013 and the second in 2016. On both occasions, the doctor had reportedly failed to completely remove the polyp.

Nursing errors can cause catastrophic post-op injury

Surgeons are a very skilled group of professionals. People trust them to literally have their well-being, and even their lives, in their hands in Oregon. Some surgical procedures are more delicate than others. Surgery involving the eyes can be particularly delicate, and the success of the surgery is frequently somewhat dependent on post-op nursing care. Failure to adequately administer post-op care can result in nursing errors.

A woman underwent a delicate eye surgery on her right eye in another state. The surgery, a vitrectomy, involves removing tissue behind the eye lens. After the surgery was complete, a gauze bandage is placed to cover the eye and held in place with tape. Instead of having a pre-cut piece of tape, the nurse stretched the tape over the gauze and pressed her thumb into the patient's eye to exert pressure to cut the tape. The surgeon stopped her, but the pressure caused hemorrhaging and a retinal detachment that left the patient mostly blind in that eye; she lost partial vision in her left eye.

Failure to diagnose glaucoma during pregnancy results in lawsuit

The birth of a child is an eagerly awaited event in the life of a woman in Oregon. The anticipation and excitement of meeting one's child, looking into his or her eyes for the first time, has no equal. To experience that first meeting and then to lose most of one's eyesight is a horrible fate to contemplate. A woman who lost most of her sight following the birth of her child has brought a suit against the hospital where she delivered her baby for a failure to diagnose a serious problem with her eyes.

During pre-natal visits, the New York woman complained that her vision was blurry and that she felt pressure around her eyes. The woman claims that the doctors disregarded her concerns. A further examination revealed that the woman was suffering from early glaucoma symptoms. She did eventually undergo surgery but ended up losing 90 percent of her vision.

Medical malpractice possible cause of cerebral palsy

The birth of a child is an eagerly awaited event in a family's life. When a child is born prematurely, complications can arise in Oregon hospitals. In a case in Michigan, a family sued the hospital where their son was born. The boy was born prematurely but had been diagnosed with kidney complications while still in utero. The jury in the case awarded the family $130 million in damages in the medical malpractice suit.

Though born prematurely he was declared healthy and discharged two days after he was born. The kidney condition caused a mild swelling of the kidneys that would require post-natal care. Two weeks after he was born, the boy's mother brought him to the hospital for a kidney scan. An ultrasound confirmed an issue with the kidneys and also indicated the child had lupus, but there was no cardiac involvement indicated.

Failure to anticipate problems resulted in severe birth injury

The birth of a child is an eagerly anticipated event in the lives of Oregon families. The majority of pregnancies are monitored throughout the nine months, and problems can frequently be detected and prepared for ahead of time. A woman in another state experienced a traumatic birth injury that caused permanent damage to her child that may have been preventable.

The woman was 36 and diabetic, both of which are indicators for a possibly large baby at birth. The doctor should have been aware of the chances of a difficult labor and delivery, but he incorrectly estimated the birth weight would be about 8 pounds. The mother delivered the 11.5 pound baby boy vaginally, and they baby's shoulders were too broad to be delivered. A vacuum device was ultimately used to deliver the child after he had been without oxygen for over 10 minutes. The resulting trauma caused permanent brain damage and permanent injury to his right arm.

Failure to diagnose often results in medical malpractice

When people in Oregon visit their doctor with a medical complaint, they trust that the doctor will use his or her expertise to diagnose the situation or, if the condition surpasses the doctor's expertise, refer the patient to a specialist. Occasionally, a doctor will misdiagnose a condition. This can lead to a malpractice suit because of a failure to diagnose.

Misdiagnosis is one of the most frequent malpractice issues. In a recent case, a woman who was otherwise healthy went to her doctor complaining of a severe headache that would not go away. The doctor diagnosed a migraine, prescribed some pills and sent her on her way, but the woman's condition continued to worsen, and a second opinion revealed that she had a growth in her brain. The growth was treated, and the woman recovered. Had she not sought a second opinion, she might not have been so lucky.

Nursing errors can have long-term ramifications

When a loved one is admitted to a hospital in Oregon and requires surgery it is reasonable to expect that a certain level of care will be delivered. Patients and their families trust the surgeons and medical staff to be able to deliver the care needed. While there is risk involved with any medical procedure, a person should be able to trust that the person performing the procedure has the experience and know-how to properly carry out the procedure. Lack of such knowledge and experience led to nursing errors in a case in another state.

A woman had been admitted to a hospital and was being treated for a septic infection. She had a catheter in her neck and a nurse was sent to remove it in preparation for discharging the patient. The nurse removed the catheter while the patient was sitting in a wheelchair. The patient then began to complain of trouble breathing. A air embolism caused a stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side.

Oxygen-deprived brain results in a medical malpractice suit

An Oregon family wished a relative luck as he was whisked away to the operating room for what was supposed to be a routine procedure. Sadly, the 62-year-old man's procedure did not go as expected. The man's family is suing the anesthesiologist and his practice for wrongful death and medical malpractice.

The man was admitted for a routine procedure. The lawsuit asserts that the man was brain dead before the surgery began. This was the result of insufficient oxygen reaching the brain and is indicative of improperly administered anesthesia.