Posted On: February 14, 2012 by Moseley Collins

Doctor Sued in Medical Malpractice Case After Failing to Properly Diagnose San Francisco Nurse, Part 3 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a medical malpractice case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs' experts contended that Plaintiff should have been referred earlier for a complete workup, and that the nurse practitioner had a duty to take the culture result very seriously in light of Plaintiff's history of symptoms. In addition, Plaintiffs contended that the nurse practitioner should have taken the time to look up Streptococcus Viridans. Had the nurse practitioner done so, she would have found that it is not found on the skin. She would also have learned that it is the most common organism causing sub-acute endocarditis, and the Plaintiff had been experiencing all the classic symptoms of that condition.

As is true with most cases involving a negligent delay in diagnosis, the Defendent contended that Plaintiff was largely responsible for the delay, particularly since she had a nursing background; and that any negligence on the part of the health care provider occurred too late in the process to make that much of a difference. What made causation in this case somewhat more challenging was that Plaintiff's more serious long-term injuries, including embolic brain injury, materialized more than two (2) weeks after she had began taking the appropriate IV antibiotics. Plaintiffs' causation experts maintained that Streptococcus Viridans is readily treatable; however, the multiple trials of inadequate antibiotics only moderated the symptoms without killing the organism. Consequently, the negligent delay in referral enabled the bacteria to build up on her aortic valve, and to form a biofilm barrier that inhibited the effectiveness of the IV antibiotics and her body's natural defenses.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

INJURIES: CARDIAC INJURY; COGNITIVE LOSS
Cardiac injury; damage to aortic valve requiring artificial valve replacement. Embolic injury to the brain resulting in significant short-term memory loss. Plff requires life-long Warfarin to prevent blood clotting. This predisposes Plff to easy bruising as well as a risk of a serious bleed. There is some increased mortality associated with an artificial valve, and the possibility that the valve may have to be replaced during her lifetime. Despite Plff's injuries, she has been capable of caring for herself and her family and been actively involved in her sons' lives. She refrains from injury prone activities and writes down things that she might otherwise forget.

SUMMARY:
Result: PLAINTIFF SETTLEMENT for $1,000,000.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.