Medical malpractice cases shouldn’t be ignored. Patients have rights, and they should be defended at all costs.
According to a series of news sources, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has just agreed to pay a patient who was left paralyzed as a result of a treatment carried out at the LA County/USC Medical Center in light of a recent medical malpractice lawsuit. The board paid $4.5 million to the man whose surgery was deemed necessary after complications a year after a motorcycle accident in 2010.
But the medical malpractice lawsuit wasn’t the only reason behind the board’s move. According to the reports, the incident involving the former patient prompted the county to waive his treatment costs, which amounted to $790,000. The patient’s MediCal bill, which amounts to $200,000 will also be covered by the county as a result of the settlement.
The motorcycle accident happened in September of 2010. According to the official accounts, the 27-year-old was later treated at Ceders-Sinai Medical Center. During his treatment, he went under surgery for a ruptured aorta. The problem was addressed with the help of a large stent-graft. A year after the incident and surgery, the man was playing basketball when he suddenly collapsed. As a result, he was sent to USC’s emergency room for treatment.
The lawsuit filed by the man’s attorney claims the man was suffering loss of sensation in his lower limbs as he also complained of great pain. During for the following two days, his condition became much worse. As doctors discovered a clot in his stent, it was unveiled that the circulation to the lower part of his body has been blocked as a result. To repair the stent and restore circulation, doctors performed a surgery.
The reports show that, in spite of the surgery, the man was not going to avoid permanent paralysis. Due to the lawsuit, the county decided to implement a new plan. The corrective action plan includes embracing changes that would make the transition of care between emergency care and in-hospital services better. The plan also observes the importance of improving communication between hospital staff members and service providers so that incidents like this are avoided in the future.
After the settlement, the county vows to have stepped up their efforts in addressing the issues that led to this medical malpractice suit. And while their current efforts won’t change what happened to the young motorcyclist, other patients may be protected as a result in the future.
At this moment, the patient who lost the battle to paralysis requires care with his daily activities and will remain this way for the rest of his life.
For more on this medical malpractice case, follow this link.