San Francisco Medical Malpractice Case Arises After Failure to Diagnose, Part 2 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a medical malpractice case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

The results of the blood workup would be reported to her primary care provider within three days. Three days later, Plaintiff went to her clinic, along with her whole family, to find out what those tests showed and to see whether it was okay to go on their vacation. Her symptoms were continuing, but now she complained of a swollen tender sternum. The nurse practitioner looked through the results of the tests and saw that the laboratory found two out of two bottles positive for Streptococcus Viridans. According to Plaintiff and her ten-year-old son, the nurse practitioner commented words to the effect, “Oh, by the way, they found some Strep in the tests, but that must be a skin contaminant. Go on your vacation, have a great time, and when you come back if you are still feeling ill, then you can have more blood work done.”
In the meantime, the nurse practitioner gave Plaintiff another Z-pak, just in case she still had a lingering low-grade infection, another prescription for Maxalt and a prescription for percocet for pain. The nurse practitioner testified in her deposition that she suggested that Plaintiff could stop by the hospital for a blood test on the way to her family vacation. Plaintiff denied that the nurse practitioner made such a suggestion, and there was nothing in the nurse’s notes to that effect. Again, the Z-pak provided only temporary relief of Plaintiff’s symptoms. Her family cut short their vacation and she returned once more to the clinic only to be prescribed another ineffectual antibiotic.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

A few days later, as Plaintiff’s condition continued to deteriorate, Plaintiff’s husband drove her to the larger hospital in the area. The Emergency Room doctor told them that he was sure she was suffering from sub-acute endocarditis because she had all the classic signs and symptoms of that disease. Subsequent tests confirmed that diagnosis, as well as the fact that she had a bicuspid aortic valve, which made her more susceptible to developing endocarditis. Plaintiff was started on appropriate IV antibiotics. During the first two weeks, Plaintiff seemed to be doing better. But then, she noticed red patches on her hand going up her forearm. She also experienced difficulty with mental processing. At times she felt “in a fog.”
She immediately returned to the hospital where a scan revealed that the vegetative growth on her aortic valve had increased, with pieces breaking off resulting in embolic injury to her brain, her hand and to other portions of her body. The decision was made to undergo open-heart surgery and aortic valve replacement to prevent further embolic injury.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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