Family Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Penn State
The family of a Penn State student who died during the first week of his freshman year has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the university. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff presented himself to their medical center with pain in his right buttocks. He had a history of blood clots and protein C deficiency and was concerned he had developed deep vein thrombosis which is a potentially fatal condition that usually presents in the legs.
While the plaintiff indicated that the pain was present in his right buttock, the physician’s assistant’s notes indicate that she examined the left buttock and lower extremity. The PA did order an ultrasound of the right lower extremity but failed to order a test that would have indicated deep vein thrombosis in the right buttock. The physician’s assistant diagnosed the patient with “right leg pain” and released him without further intervention.
Shortly afterward, the plaintiff developed serious pain in his right leg. He asked his RA on campus to call an ambulance but experienced two seizures before the ambulance arrived and one more after they had taken him into the ambulance. He was struggling to breathe and eventually became unresponsive. At the hospital, doctors performed CPR for 45 minutes before the plaintiff died.
Elements of negligence
Medical negligence occurs for a variety of reasons. In this case, you have medical negligence on the basis of a missed diagnosis. The defendants failed to consider the possibility that the plaintiff had developed deep vein thrombosis even though he had a history of blood clots. They appear to have examined the wrong buttock, according to the plaintiff’s allegations and failed to order a test that would have confirmed the presence of DVT in the right iliac vein. Instead, they ordered an ultrasound of an area in the right leg that did not reveal the presence of DVT and released the patient without intervention.
In a typical medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant did not follow the prevailing standard of care for the profession. These lawsuits are difficult to try and very complex because a comparison must be made between the attending doctor’s actions and the standard of care for the profession.
That being said, the plaintiffs appear to have a strong case for medical negligence in this instance. The defendants, despite having a history of blood clots, failed to identify a potentially fatal blood clot in an area where the plaintiff was experiencing pain. Instead of ordering a test that would have revealed the blood clot, they ordered an ultrasound that did not reveal a blood clot. So, the plaintiffs should be able to establish that the standard of care for the student was not in keeping with the prevailing standard of care for the medical profession.
Talk to a Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Gillette Law represents the interests of Jacksonville residents who have been injured by negligent medical doctors. Call our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover damages related to your injuries.