Failure to Order Follow-Up Tests Leads to Stroke and $6.4 Million Verdict
A St. Louis, Missouri man and his wife were awarded $6.4 million by a jury as the result of a preventable stroke that the man suffered in 2007. In early 1996, the man had been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, a heart condition in which one of the heart's valves does not tightly close, resulting in the blood being able to flow backwards into the heart - a dangerous event. In 2001, the man's primary care physician ordered an echocardiogram *(a test that uses wound waves to create a moving picture of the heart, images which are much more detailed than x-rays and which require no radiation exposure) which confirmed the existence of the condition. Sadly, after 2001, the primary care physician never again ordered any follow-up echocardiograms and/or referred the man to a cardiologist as the standard of care required.
In April 2007, the plaintiff suddenly began complaining of fatigue, abdominal pain and loss of appetite, classic signs and symptoms of mitral valve prolapse. The primary care physician, once again, failed to refer the man to a cardiologist or order any tests to examine his heart. The following month, May 2007, the plaintiff's wife called the primary care physician and inquired if her husband should be admitted to the hospital for evaluation but the doctor said he should not. In June 2007, the plaintiff suffered a stroke caused by a bacterial infection on his heart valve. The stroke resulted in the man's inability to use much of his right side, difficulty processing things mentally, an inability to process words and lost short-term memory. He also has been unable to work since the stroke, thereby incurring significant medical expenses and loss of earnings, not to mention the pain, suffering and emotional distress from which he suffers on a daily basis.
At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle medical negligence / medical malpractice / medical error cases involving a failure to timely diagnose and treat patients with serious illnesses or conditions. Our lawyers routinely appear in the state and federal courts in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas, as well as other courts throughout Maryland. We typically are involved in litigation against area hospitals including but not limited to: Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Union Memorial Hospital, Harbor Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Howard County General Hospital, Sinai Hospital, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, and Washington Hospital Center. If you or a loved one have been victimized by a health care provider for failure to timely diagnose or treat an unknown or known illness/condition, call our team at (410) 385-2225 for a free consultation. Our attorneys generally pursue such medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, meaning that our office lays out the funds for the case in advance and our clients are only responsible for repaying those expenses upon the successful resolution of a case, whether it be via settlement, trial or appeal.