A 54-year-old individual living in Weems, Virginia (VA) was suffering from intense stomach pain and decided to get treatment at the Rappahannock General Hospital on a Saturday. Tests indicated they had a large bowel obstruction. Unfortunately, they didn't receive the operation they desperately needed until Tuesday. By that time, the patient suffered a "perforated cecum." The cecum is a pouch near the beginning of the large intestine that collects waste material, according to medterms.com. This led to the patient's abdomen getting contaminated with fecal matter and eventually developing sepsis.
The patient was subsequently transferred to VCU Medical Center and had to undergo numerous corrective surgeries over a course of five weeks to try and fix what went wrong at the Rappahannock General Hospital. Today, the patient is forced to wear a colostomy bag.
Just imagine, you go into the hospital with stomach pains on a Saturday and you don't get out until five weeks later and now with a colostomy bag forced to be a part of your daily life. That's a traumatic situation no one should have to endure. This may have been prevented if the doctor at Rappahannock had taken more timely action, but we'll never know.
Fortunately, the victim sought the council of an attorney and received a $2 million jury verdict in a Richmond Circuit Court. The jury understood that this was a clear case of medical negligence and the victim was justified in pursuing compensation to help cover medical bills (which totaled over $400,000), lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our firm handled a similar case. We represented the estate of a 56-year-old retired FBI agent who reported to his family doctor that he had been suffering from chest pains for three days, which was radiating into his jaw along with blurred vision. He then went to the emergency room but wasn't properly diagnosed. He was released with an appointment to see an ENT doctor, despite the fact that no diagnostic tests were conducted. Four days later, the FBI agent died at his home of a dissecting aortic aneurysm. Once again, this was a preventable incident and a clear case of medical negligence. A lone bright spot in this tragic situation was that we were able to successfully obtain a jury verdict for the decedent's family.
If you've been hurt and suspect the injury was due to a medical mistake or surgical error, please consult with an attorney. A lawyer won't be able to reverse the physical damage caused by the injury, but can pursue compensation to help cover important expenses that your insurance may not cover.