Lack of Communication Ends in Unnecessary Amputation
Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee is under fire for allegedly failing to properly inform a deaf patient of his treatment options, which lead to him requiring a partial leg amputation. The incident in question happened in 2017 when the patient went to the hospital after he had fallen and was feeling pain and numbness in his leg. Upon arrival, the patient requested an in-person American Sign Language Interpreter and his request was promptly denied. The staff did not take any additional measures to communicate with the patient and sent him home with an antibiotic and ibuprofen.
The patient felt his pain worsening over the next few days and decided to go to another hospital. Lenoir City Hospital transferred the patient back to Parkwest for a specialist appointment with a vascular surgeon after diagnosing him with blood clots. An interpreter was yet again requested but the patient was given a video remote interpreting device instead.
The interpreting device was ineffective and the patient had surgery performed the following day to remove the blood clots. At this point, his daughter was the interpreter as no effective or requested interpreter had been provided by the hospital. Unfortunately, the medical staff were unable to communicate with the patient, he was sent home yet again and his pain level increased.
Finally, the patient went to see his family doctor, who sent him to yet a different hospital where he had access to a live ASL interpreter. He was then informed that he would need to have another surgery and was then told that he had to have part of his leg amputated. He was also informed at this point that his leg could have been saved if he had gotten to the medical facility earlier.
This lawsuit is seeking damages from not only Parkwest Hospital but also Covenant Health, a health care facilities operator. The lawsuit in question states that these two entities did not provide adequate care or communication. This resulted in the patient not understanding his admission, treatment, risks, and discharge instructions. He was also not given alternative treatment options.
While this case may be shocking to hear, it is more common than you may think. You do not have to be deaf or hard of hearing to suffer from the negligent actions of medical staff. If you do suffer such treatment, you can contact a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.
What is a surgical error?
Surgery is a big decision for many patients, as recovery can be strenuous. The last thing a patient wants to find out is that an error occurred, changing the trajectory of their lives forever. Some of the most common kinds of surgical errors we see include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Anesthesia errors
- Nerve damage injuries
- Leaving foreign objects in the body
- Amputation injuries
- Hospital-acquired infections
While you can be prepared and trust your instincts, your medical staff can slip up at any time and end up operating on the wrong body part. You must always keep in mind that this is your body and your life and while you may think you are annoying, you are just being cautious. You may also want to bring someone with you to ensure you are getting all of the necessary information and treatment options.
What are hospital errors?
There are a number of hospital errors our Maryland medical malpractice attorney is familiar with including:
- Medication errors
- Inadequate communication between hospital staff and other members of the care team
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to diagnose
- Defective medical devices
- Failing to maintain a sterile environment
- Failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Not recognizing an infection
- Emergency room errors
Hospitals can be chaotic, especially since they are often full of people seeking immediate and emergent care. This, however, is not an excuse for improper medical treatment and medical malpractice. Even the smallest mishap or lack of communication can lead to lifelong injuries for patients. If you experience any of the aforementioned incidents at any hospital, it is critical that you contact a medical malpractice attorney.
While you might think that the error was small, there is no surgical error that is insignificant and you should take legal action against negligent parties with the help of a Maryland medical malpractice attorney. Contact Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. at 410-730-7737, or submit our contact form for a consultation. To better serve our clients, we have various locations across the state.