Widower Awarded Nearly $5 Million After Malpractice Trial
In December of 2017, an Illinois jury awarded a widower $4.78 million in a malpractice suit he filed on behalf of his wife. Nathan Cain’s wife, Candice, died in 2012. Just four months earlier, she had undergone an endoscopic procedure, performed by Dr. Thomas Deweert and the Digestive Disease Consultants of Normal, Illinois.
The jury deliberated for approximately 6 hours over a two-day period before rendering the verdict.
Candice was just 38 years old when she died.
What is an endoscopy?
During an endoscopy procedure, an endoscope is used to take a closer look inside the body. An endoscope is a long, skinny tube that has a light and camera attached to it. By inserting the endoscope into the body, the doctor in charge of the procedure can look at various organs to diagnose medical conditions. In an upper endoscopy, a doctor will insert the endoscope through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus. The doctor can then visualize the esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine. An endoscope can also be inserted in the rectum and used to see the colon. This procedure is called a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, depending how far up the colon the endoscope is advanced. Another type of endoscope can be used to examine the pancreas and gallbladder.
Complications from an endoscopy
An endoscopy is not considered a risky procedure. As with any medical procedure, however, complications may arise.
In some cases, the patient needs to be put to sleep for the endoscopy. This can mean either conscious sedation (usually through IV medications) or general anesthesia (through IV or inhalational medications). There are always some risks involved with being under anesthesia. For example, some patients may have an allergy to the anesthesia medications, which requires the doctors and medical staff to act quickly to avoid serious complications. Or, the patient may be under conscious sedation and may get “too deep,” which can cause the patient to stop breathing. The anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNA) must carefully monitor the patient’s vital signs to make sure the patient is stable throughout the procedure and must react quickly and appropriately if any complications arise.
There are also complications that may arise from the endoscopy itself. Infections may occur if the endoscope is not clean, for example. Additionally, sometimes the endoscope punctures a blood vessel or the bowel, which may result in an infection or other serious complications, including sepsis. Endoscopes have also caused bladder and urethra injuries in many patients. In some cases, internal bleeding occurs that must be repaired with additional surgeries.
Patients should be advised of all material risks of the procedure before they consent to an endoscopy.
If a medical professional injures you, you may be entitled to damages
When medical professionals make mistakes that cause injuries, they may be held accountable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. During a medical malpractice lawsuit, a medical malpractice attorney presents evidence that demonstrates how the medical professional injured the patient. Evidence may include medical records, photographs, expert medical testimony, and other documents.
If the injured patient prevails in the lawsuit, the patient is entitled to damages. Damages may include the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses.
If you were injured by a medical professional, contact the Eisen Law Firm today
At The Eisen Law Firm, our Ohio medical malpractice attorneys focus exclusively on medical malpractice and negligence claims. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in damages for our clients and are prepared to assist you with your case. To schedule your free consultation, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online.