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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Medical malpractice filed after child dies from dental procedure

Children in Oregon and across the world are told every day that there is no reason to be scared of the dentist, and most of the time this is true. Normally, dental visits are some of the safest, least invasive medical procedures performed. Like any other medical field of practice, however, it is not without its risks, especially when anesthesia is involved. A family in another state has filed a medical malpractice claim after a 2-year-old child died following a dental procedure that may not have even been necessary.

The child had been taken to a dental office that was part of a large nationwide chain of dental practices. His family was told that he needed to have pulpotomies, or baby root canals, and crowns on his baby teeth. He was put under anesthesia, the procedure was performed and he was taken to recovery. The child never woke up. He was rushed to a local children's hospital where he died four days later.

Medical negligence: Doctor used own sperm for insemination

Infertility is a frustrating, heart-wrenching reality for many couples in Oregon and across the country. The desire to have a child, and the inability to achieve that dream, is one of the hardest challenges many people face. When there's nowhere left to turn, many couples put their dreams in the hands of fertility doctors with the hope and trust that the doctor will carefully and compassionately work to help them achieve their dream of becoming parents. One doctor apparently betrayed that trust and is being sued for medical negligence for taking advantage of a couple desperate to have a child of their own.

In 1977, a couple unable to have a child due to an irreversible vasectomy went to a gynecologist to have artificial insemination performed. The semen used was supposed to be that of a medical student who shared similar characteristics with the father-to-be and who had undergone testing to become medically cleared to be a donor. The process was a success, and in December of that year a baby girl was born.

Dentist who falsified credentials sued for medical malpractice

Anesthesia is one of the riskiest elements to any surgery because even when carefully administered there can be catastrophic side effects. Many patients have simply quit breathing when under general anesthesia. The expertise required for an anesthesiologist is so imperative that it is unthinkable that a doctor in Oregon or any other state would attempt administering anesthesia without proper training and experience. However, according to a recent medical malpractice lawsuit, that is exactly what happened.

In Oregon and other states, anyone administering anesthesia must be properly licensed to do so. There is a great deal of responsibility and risk involved, so extensive training is required to ensure patient safety. According to a recent medical malpractice lawsuit, a dentist in another state fraudulently obtained a permit using falsified documents to administer anesthesia. The dentists also forged signatures and even submitted fake degrees that he produced himself. The permit he obtained is the highest level offered, allowing him to utilize general anesthesia which would completely put his patients to sleep.

Veteran's widow awarded $800,000 for VA medical malpractice

When a person checks into an Oregon hospital for treatment, he or she does so with faith that the medical staff is competent and armed with a thorough knowledge of ailments, treatments and care. It is assumed that the staff would be careful and educated enough to correctly give medications and be familiar with their uses and interactions. This was not so for the medical staff at one VA hospital in another state where a veteran was repeatedly given the wrong medication. That mistake caused severe damage that took the man's life, so his widow filed a medical malpractice claim against the government and was recently awarded $800,000 for her loss.

Last year, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran checked into a VA hospital for treatment for nausea and vomiting. He was prescribed a medication called filgrastim, which promotes the growth of white blood cells. Instead, he was actually given multiple injections of a drug with a similar name, pegfilgtastim. The drug he was prescribed can be administered daily, while the drug he was actually given cannot.

Soldier suing government for failure to diagnose cancer

After being shot in the chest by a sniper's bullet in 2004, one would think that the soldier had experienced the worst lung-related injury he would ever have to endure. Unfortunately for one Green Beret, that was not the case. He recovered from his war wound, and 13 years later began his real struggle to breathe. This Army sergeant, who nearly lost his life on the battle field fighting for the freedom of the citizens of Oregon and the rest of the country, is going to instead lose his life to cancer. Before it takes his last breath away, he is suing the government for the military physician's failure to diagnose cancer until it was too late to save his life.

In Jan. 2017 the sergeant had a routine CT scan at an Army hospital and was told he was well. Soon, he started having breathing trouble and was even rushed to the emergency room at the Army medical center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home. His condition worsened with coughing, wheezing, bleeding and feelings of drowning. After months of suffering and begging for answers he finally was able to see a civilian doctor. In June the soldier quickly received the news that would bring his world crashing down -- terminal stage four lung cancer.

Woman awarded $21 million in medical malpractice case

Most people in Oregon would agree that losing an arm or leg can have a significant impact on someone's life. Suddenly, the person has to learn how to do many routine daily activities differently in order to compensate for the missing limb. The loss of a single limb can have life-altering consequences, so to lose all four limbs is almost unimaginable. This became a reality for a woman in another state who lost both arms and legs after being misdiagnosed at the hospital she went to for treatment. She sued for medical malpractice and has recently been awarded $21 million.

A woman went to a Native American hospital for treatment in 2011, but her condition was misdiagnosed. She was treated for shingles, but she actually had a skin infection and was also in the beginning stages of sepsis. The woman was released only to return to the hospital days later in very serious condition due to septic shock. Her condition deteriorated so badly that she developed gangrene and had to have all four limbs amputated to save her life.

Surgical errors lead to woman's death following colon surgery

Colon polyps are a very common diagnosis for adults. Most of the time, they are benign growths and are usually removed during a colonoscopy. Sometimes, however, they have to be removed surgically. Although polyp removal is a very common surgery in Oregon, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. A woman in another state died after surgical errors during a polyp removal procedure.

In Nov. 2011, a 43-year-old woman went into surgery for removal of benign polyps in her colon. Following the surgery the woman was in pain so excruciating that the strongest painkillers were not able to give her relief. After four days of suffering, her doctor finally ordered a CAT scan, which revealed she had a severe infection. The colorectal surgeon had unknowingly accidentally burned a portion of her small bowel during the polyp removal surgery, and this caused a horrible infection that ravaged her body. Before she could be taken back for corrective surgery, the mother of three went into septic shock and died.

Surgical errors result in removal of woman's healthy kidney

Surgery comes with a significant amount of danger. Regardless of what part of the body the surgery is being performed on and how simple or routine the surgery is, there are always underlying risks. The patient may respond negatively to medication, the condition could be different from what is expected or the surgeon may make a mistake. Most Oregon patients feel their surgeons are knowledgeable and competent and wouldn't make a horrible mistake like removing the wrong body part, but surgical errors do happen. A woman in another state learned this firsthand when a surgeon mistakenly removed her kidney during back surgery.

A woman entered a hospital to have back surgery to ease the pain she had been suffering with for years. The operation was being performed by three surgeons: one general surgeon who was to cut the patient open and two orthopedic surgeons who would treat her spine. When the general surgeon opened her pelvic cavity to gain access to her spine, he noticed what he thought was a malignant mass. He made a judgment call and decided to remove the mass without waiting to consult the patient, her medical records or anyone there on her behalf.

Elderly man awarded $636,000 in medical malpractice lawsuit

Nursing homes are a necessary part of life in Oregon and other states. Everyone would prefer to be able to continue living in their homes with their families, but often the need for extra care causes elderly people to need to enter a nursing home. The family hopes that the doctors and nurses that they have entrusted with the care of their loved one will be competent, caring and careful. An elderly man in another state was recently awarded over $600,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit stemming from inadequate care he received while a resident at a nursing home in 2013.

The man, who was 79 years old at the time, was left alone on a toilet, and he fell off. The doctor ordered X-rays of the man's hip, which the radiologist said showed no fracture. The doctor failed to perform an exam on the man, which would have disclosed that he had fractured his hip. Although the man had obvious pain and loss of mobility, the doctor never ordered additional testing to diagnose the problem.

Hospital faces medical malpractice claim re unauthorized research

Clinical trials are often a wonderful method of testing drugs and finding new treatment options. Many people in Oregon have been saved by being a subject in a clinical trial. Often subjects enroll in one either because they have exhausted their treatment options or because they are offered compensation for participation. Should a doctor or other medical professional be able to enroll a patient in a clinical trial without the person's consent? A woman in another state doesn't think so and is suing her hospital for medical malpractice because she became a subject in a clinical trial without her permission.

On a particularly emotional day, a woman in another state had started drinking to deal with some problems she was struggling with. A concerned friend called 911 to have a welfare check performed. According to the woman, she was forced to go to the hospital against her will. According to the paramedics who responded to the call, the woman became belligerent and threatening when they tried to take her to the hospital, so they injected her with ketamine, even though she had asked them not to give her anything.