A Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the parents of a new physician who graduated from medical school on May 11, 2013 alleges that the 26-year-old woman died on May 29, 2013 due to the negligence of a hospital where she had sought medical treatment.
The woman went to the hospital because she had unrelenting headaches for 10 days and unexplained bruising. The doctors at the hospital failed to timely order a head imaging study, such as a CT scan, which would have detected a blood clot condition that could have been easily diagnosed, treated, and corrected had the proper care been given, according to the medical negligence lawsuit.
Instead, the doctors provided the woman with pain medications and conducted medical testing that did not discover her life-threatening condition. She was not examined by a neurologist for more than 40 hours after she arrived at the hospital. By that time, her condition had deteriorated and she suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage that led to irreversible brain damage. The doctors did not administer anti-clotting medication until nine hours before her death, at which time she had already sustained irreversible neurological injury.
Ironically, the doctor was transferred to another hospital near where she was supposed to begin her internship in pediatrics. Her parents made the difficult decision to remove their daughter from life support; she died on the third day after she had gone to the hospital for treatment.
In discussing the medical malpractice lawsuit that alleges that the doctors failed to “be properly suspicious of” and detect the blood clot that “should have been obvious,” the parents’ attorney stated, “This is a terrible tragedy that befell one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s brightest stars. It shouldn’t have happened. We intend to fully get to the bottom of why it happened.”
It is unfathomable to lose a child due to avoidable medical negligence. We cannot imagine the pain and emptiness that the young doctor’s parents must have felt only two weeks after they were extraordinarily happy and proud of their daughter as they watched her graduate from medical school.
This sad case of medical negligence is an important warning that medical care failing to meet the applicable standard of care can affect anyone, no matter one’s social status, educational level, race, gender, or otherwise. Moreover, medical negligence causing life-destroying harms can occur at any time and in any place. We must remain constantly vigilant in fighting for patient safety and in protecting the rights of innocent victims of medical malpractice to be fairly and fully compensated for the harms they suffered.
If you or a loved one may have been injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney or malpractice attorney in your U.S. state to learn about your legal rights and responsibilities in bringing a medical malpractice claim.
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