TABLE OF CONTENTS
Volume 1 No. 1 January 2013Medical Malpractice Case 1 Medical Malpractice Case 2 Medicolegal Topics The Anatomy of a
Medical Malpractice Case Answers to your Questions
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THE ANATOMY OF A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT
This will be the first in a series of articles taking us through an entire medical malpractice lawsuit and getting advice along the way. We begin with
The physicians in this case were
facing medical malpractice litigation with
possible punitive damages, and criminal charges including murder charges and wrongful death.
The patient in this case did not undergo a computed tomography of the head prior to
the lumbar puncture.
VOLUME 1 NO. 1 JANUARY 2013
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE IA four-year-old girl presented to the emergency department with fevers, nausea, vomiting, neck pain, headache, and lethargy. The patient was incorrectly triaged by a paramedic, who was not permitted to examine the patient; he missed critical physical exam findings of stiff neck, photophobia, and lethargy. The child was given an incorrect acuity rating, which delayed her evaluation by the emergency medicine physician.
The emergency medicine physician examined the patient two hours later. The patient was noted to have nuchal rigidity on physical exam. The physician suspected bacterial meningitis and performed a lumbar puncture without first obtaining a computer tomography of the head. Spinal fluid sprayed out during the procedure indicating elevated cerebral spinal pressure. MORE