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Guilty verdict in medical malpractice suit that left woman dead

Nov 14, 2011 | Doctor Errors

Medical malpractice suits often occur because of some form of negligence. This was the case when a Plattsburgh, New York anesthesiologist was found guilty of negligence while caring for a 70-year-old woman in 2007. The woman died following surgery to remove an infected gall bladder. The medical malpractice verdict came down from a civil court case held in the Clinton County Court.

The victim in this case was admitted to CVPH on Nov. 11, 2007. When she arrived at the hospital, doctors found that she was in critical condition with septic shock from a badly infected gall bladder. Although her condition was serious, underlying medical issues prevented surgeons from operating on her. It took several weeks of treatment to get her stable enough for surgery, but on Dec. 11 doctors felt she was well enough to be operated on.

Just prior to surgery her anesthesiologist noticed a significant drop in her blood pressure. When asked by the surgeon if the surgery should proceed, the anesthesiologist said yes. The procedure was completed without incident, but the woman’s blood pressure dropped again while she was in recovery. The doctor prescribed her medication to raise her blood pressure. Another medication was also ordered, but was not given to her until nearly an hour after it had been ordered. The woman died early the next morning.

The procedure done on the woman was relatively simple, so the family asked for an investigation to be completed. The jury in this case found that the doctor was negligent and awarded the family $280,000.

In New York and elsewhere, patients seeking treatment put their lives in the hands of the doctors and nurses caring for them. When a person feels that they or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, they may wish to consider consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. These professionals may be able to lay out a plan for legal action.

Source: Press Republican, "Local doctor found negligent in death of Plattsburgh woman," Jeff Meyers, Oct. 27, 2011