Last month a settlement was reached in a medical malpractice case in Missouri following written discovery and depositions. Reportedly, the client had gallbladder surgery but a perforated bowel went undetected, causing serious repercussions to the patient including amputation.

Following a laparoscopic gallbladder removal, the client suffered from fever, high respiration, high heart rate, and a distended abdomen. Reportedly, the pain was “intolerable” and the man had to receive repeated morphine doses. His condition was reviewed by a rapid assessment team. By testing his blood, the team found a critical level of lactate in his blood gasses, indicating possible sepsis. Even as the man’s condition rapidly deteriorated, he was not evaluated by the surgeon who performed the gallbladder removal for eight hours. During this time nurses relayed data and explained their concerns during five calls to the surgeon.

When he did finally go to the client’s room, a bowel perforation was ruled out by the surgeon. The patient did not undergo a second surgery until almost 30 hours after he exhibited the initial symptoms. By then, his condition was life threatening and in order to restore blood pressure, he required pressor drugs. The drugs’ side effect was reduced blood flow, causing gangrene and requiring amputation. As a result of the incident, the client had to remain in the hospital for five months and required multiple additional surgeries.

The client’s X-rays did not support the surgeon’s claims that the patient’s decline was the result of a pulmonary infection. Attorneys for the patient claimed that the failure to diagnose the patient properly and operate on the perforated bowel within 12 hours was substandard care.

Medical malpractice is a serious issue. If you or a loved one received substandard care and suffered as a result of a failure to properly diagnose in a timely manner, you may be eligible for compensation of your medical bills and/or pain and suffering.