Thanks, Kevin, for the trust and recognition implicit in inviting me to guest blog here. Yours was one of the first medblogs I found and it is a great place to keep up.

Jury returns $640,000 medical malpractice verdict

It is hard to tell from this brief article what the details of the case were. On one hand, it is frustrating to see physicians sued when a known risk, for which the patient was consented, occurs. It is even more frustrating when the jury finds for the plaintiff.

OTOH, failure to provide adequate DVT prophylaxis would usually be a deviation from SOC. As a hospitalist, I am frequently asked to consult on surgical patients for medical management, usually ortho. I will note in my original dictation and each day in my progress note, “DVT prophylaxis per surgeon.” Or they may ask specifically that I manage it.

Again, there is not enough information in this article to judge what type of prophylaxis might have been appropriate.

DrTony

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  • Anonymous

    You make a legal mistake when you say a patient, by signing an informed consent statemet has agreed to accept any such injury resulting from a procedure.

    What that agreement protects you from is a seperate kind of tort claim from malpractice, a kind of battery claim, where you have failed to inform them of harms that may result from the kind of touching or battery for which they are granting permission.

    Informed consent is not consent to be injured by your failure to meet the standard of care, your negligent mistakes, or intentional torts comitted by you.

  • DrTony

    What I meant was that some surgeries carry with them a risk of specific injuries. If these risks are explained to the patient in advance and the patient agrees to the risk, and the surgeon takes appropriate care and measures to minimize the risk and the injury occurs despite this, I don’t think the surgeon should be liable.

    For example, when placing a central line, either jugular or subclavian, there is a risk of pneumothorax. If this occurs despite the best care of the physician, it is my opinion that the physician is not liable in a tort claim for the injury or the treatment necessary to repair the injury, in this case a chest tube.

  • Anonymous

    There’s no information in this article to know what the problem was, other than knowing what the jury awarded. What kind of surgery was done? What vein was injured? What kind of treatment was given in the face of the vein injury? I assume the plaintiff’s attorney was saying that Coumadin wasn’t given, but there are no facts in this article to make any kind of judgment as to what happened.

  • Anonymous

    It is sad that this happened to this patient. The award is not really that much after you deduct the lawyer’s contingency fee, other expenses and taxes. This patient was disabled after a risky procedure and the present legal system does not adequately compensate these people who actually need society’s help to have a good quality of life. There is so much waste of money and time just so society can help this individual. The Neurosurgeon had to take off work, the trial lawyer does not deserve that much of a contingency fee (40%) which could have been given to the patient, court time is being used up. We need a more efficient system that compensate adequately the patients who have suffered because of treatment or procedures. As CJD says, that’s what insurance is for. I also want to tell CJD that the system I’m thinking of eliminates the trial lawyer in the equation.

  • Anonymous

    “What should they have received? “

    Sharp pencil. right through the eye.

  • Greedy Trial Lawyer

    The only thing I can conclude from the comments so far is that the same debate over malpractice continues. Maybe a new concept, using some modern technology, could help doctors and patients when there is a complication or poor result from medical care (such as, a surgical procedure).

    What would happen if it were required that the doctor meet with the patient or patient’s family (after a sufficient period for analysis and review) in a video-taped conference to answer quesions and to explain what went wrong?

  • Anonymous

    “What would happen if it were required that the doctor meet with the patient or patient’s family (after a sufficient period for analysis and review) in a video-taped conference to answer quesions and to explain what went wrong?”

    Both sides would be required to have Legal teams present, charging Big Bucks per hour, thus making the greedy sodomites even richer.

  • Anonymous

    Your New Years Resolution should be to stop being so jealous of others. And to work on your ass fixation.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Renee

    Here is the original article from a Maine newspaper: http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/news/local/2246139.shtml . It still doesn’t say what kind of surgery was done, or what risks were explained to the patient. All it says was that the surgery was technically challenging, and that it helped the patient’s original condition, though the article doesn’t name what condition the patient had.

    Why would a neurosurgeon operate through a person’s abdomen?

  • Anonymous

    CJD, your New Year’s Resolution should be 1)Not to sing the same tune over and over so ass not to be boring
    2) Not to twist other bloggers’ words so you won’t sound like a used car salesman 3) Not to pretend that you’re a victim’s advocate when all you care about is how you can suck their blood
    4) Not to pretend you know Medicine when you really don’t
    5) To quote facts instead of propaganda written by ATLA
    6) Admit the fact that society looks up to medical doctors and looks down on trial lawyers.
    HO, HO, HO, HO….MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    Your guardian Angel

  • Anonymous

    “1)Not to sing the same tune over and over so ass not to be boring”

    See, this is what I’m talking about. Try being a breast man. When are you getting your MBA, mouse?

  • Anonymous

    You got your anonymi mixed up. I’m the one you think is obsessed with Ass (Only because when I think of lawyers, the first thought that comes to mind is the shit that tumbles out of them) I’m going after my MBA next September. If I don’t go to Jail first for murdering some of you greedy sodomites.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right, CJD. You get confused easily, I noticed. Is it because your head is in your ass.
    Merry Christmass!

  • Anonymous

    “Why would a neurosurgeon operate through a person’s abdomen?”

    Because he’s worried about getting sued, so he opens up the abdomen to look for Transverse Myelitis.