Failure to Treat Could Lead to a Medical Malpractice Claim

A $26 million settlement was recently reached in a lawsuit against New York Methodist Hospital, according to media reports in the New York Daily News. The case involved a newborn discharged by a doctor despite having severe jaundice. The newborn’s mother had expressed concerns over his condition, but nurses dismissed the concerns, noting that jaundice is common and would go away.

His symptoms got progressively worse, causing the parents to eventually take him to Kings County Hospital. He was then diagnosed with hyperbilirubinemia, a more serious type of jaundice that could have been treatable at multiple times during the course of the illness. However, after giving him two blood transfusions, it was too late.

Now six years old, the little boy has permanent brain damage. He is unable to use his arms and legs, and can’t walk or talk.

Medical Malpractice Caused by a Failure to Treat

This is an example of medical malpractice stemming from a failure to treat. These types of cases can come in a variety of forms; for instance, ignoring symptoms by either dismissing them entirely or indicating they aren’t serious or will go away (as appears to be the case in the case mentioned above).

Cases where medical professionals fail to perform appropriate medical tests could also be considered failure to treat. In this situation, a physical examination and a sample of the newborn’s blood would have shown the level of bilirubin in his blood.

Another example is when doctors fail to treat a known medical condition. This should have been evident by the newborn’s yellowing skin and eyes. Although its true jaundice is common, it may still require treatment.

When substandard care is the cause of a healthcare provider not treating a medical condition and it becomes worse, patients could recover compensation for damages.

Not only could the victim be entitled to compensation for medical bills, but other losses such as: 

  • pain and suffering;
  • permanent disability;
  • mental anguish; and
  • more may be recoverable as well.

Patients who find themselves in a similar situation can consult an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates to discuss the details of their case. Set up your appointment today by calling 800-550-0000.

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