It has been reported that Tripler Army Medical Center has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a medical malpractice birth injury case that alleged that the medical negligence of a doctor-in-training at the army hospital caused a newborn to suffer catastrophic neurological injuries that occurred during labor and delivery.
The pregnant woman was taken to Tripler Army Medical Center on September 7, 2010. The woman was at high-risk for suffering uterine rupture, which history was known to the army hospital at that time. A first-year resident was assigned to the woman’s care and allegedly failed to timely call for more experienced medical assistance when the woman’s uterus ruptured. By the time the attending nurse finally called for a more experienced doctor to attend to the pregnant woman, it was too late – the baby had suffered from lack of oxygen to his brain in utero which resulted in the baby suffering cerebral palsy. As a result of the medical negligence that occurred in the army hospital, the child was permanently disabled and will require care and assistance twenty-four hours every day.
The U.S. government agreed to the $9 million settlement that will be used to purchase an annuity that is intended to provide necessary care and services for the child for the rest of his life.
It is necessary that newly-minted physicians be provided appropriate opportunities to learn how to provide proper care for patients assigned them. It is through study, educational opportunities, and gaining experience that physicians become proficient and maintain their competency.
For patients, it nearly impossible for them to know the level of experience and competency that their hospital physicians have achieved at the time the patients are being provided care and treatment. Even if a hospital patient has the opportunity or the confidence to inquire about their attending physicians’ level of training and experience, most patients in hospitals have no choice or say in who provides their medical care.
Whether a hospital physician providing patient care will be open and honest in providing patients with full and truthful information regarding their level of training and experience is also a major concern, based on anecdotal evidence and allegations in medical malpractice cases. Whether it is arrogance, the selfish disregard for the rights of patients, the lack of self-confidence, the lack of truthfulness, a character flaw, or some other reason or motive for failing to fully disclose their professional training and experience to their patients, physicians who misrepresent or fail to disclose to their patients their level of experience in performing necessary medical procedures and providing medical care are unnecessarily exposing their patients to an increased risk of suffering harm due to medical care that fails to meet the applicable standard of care.
Unfortunately, many patients in the hospital assume that the person standing in front of them in a white lab coat with their name embroidered above their breast pocket with the letters “M.D.” following their name is a properly trained and experienced medical provider who will provide appropriate medical care to them, without the patients asking questions of that person that would elicit (hopefully) honest responses that would lead most reasonable patients to request that a more experienced physician provide them with necessary medical care.
If you or a loved one suffered injury (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice committed at a federal medical facility, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who handles Federal Tort Claims Act claims and who may investigate your federal medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a federal tort claim action, if appropriate.
Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find federal medical malpractice attorneys (federal tort claim attorneys) who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.