Anytime medical professionals are dealing with a patient’s brain they must exercise tremendous caution and be sure not to be unnecessarily invasive. The slightest doctor error during a procedure performed on the brain can leave a person’s life permanently altered. North Carolina patients should be able to expect their physicians to provide the highest level of care when dealing with particularly sensitive areas of care.
One woman visited a doctor because of persistent and painful migraines. What the woman did not expect was to wake up without the ability to move her arms and legs after an unnecessary medical procedure was performed. According to her medical professionals, they were investigating an abnormal blood vessel in her brain with an angiogram. Doctors injected die into her brain, which caused other blood vessels in the brain to constrict and a temporary coma. Weeks later, the woman woke up without the ability to use her limbs.
According to the woman’s attorney, the abnormal vein was unrelated to the migraines, so it was unnecessary to perform the angiogram which resulted in the woman’s brain injury. After suing the health care system and medical staff for medical malpractice, the woman was awarded a favorable verdict and was awarded $22 million in damages. The jury believed that medical negligence was a primary factor in this woman’s unfortunate case.
The medical effects of this incident are quite clear. Before the woman was paralyzed, she worked in the property management field, but now requires full-time care. A substantial portion of her award is for past and future lost wages due to her condition. Furthermore, the woman’s husband left her shortly after the accident, so nearly every aspect of her life has changed since the accident. Despite all these setbacks, the woman is just glad to be alive.
This case shows that one unnecessary medical procedure can completely change a person’s life for the worse. Nearly everything this woman considered normal before she visited the doctor for migraine issues is now a distant memory. Perhaps doctors would not have been able to give her a definitive reason why she was dealing with painful headaches when she visited them, but she should not have had to deal with the consequences of her doctors’ negligence. Fortunately, the woman was able to receive monetary compensation that will provide for her health in the future.
Source: Palo Alto Daily News, “Menlo Park woman receives $22 million medical malpractice verdict,” Jason Green, March 21, 2012