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Former medical professional certain gross medical misconduct led to mother’s recent death. I want feedback and recommendations.

Abington, MA |

Mother admitted to hospital, with symptoms of acute MI. EKG/blood Markers were positive, confirming MI. Hospitalist diagnosed pneumonia, Son, DPOA, refused discharge given misdiagnoses 3 months prior, insisting pulmonary edema secondary to cardiac. Demanded angiogram, not performed. Mother discharged and had witnessed arrest 17 hours later. I consented to cath, stents. Stabilized, I had transferred to Boston hospital w/ good prognosis. I monitored SaO2 levels ≈ 40%-60%. Questioned how possible when intubated w/ 100% O2. Told “problem with calibration”. Vent changed out three times over 14 hours until endotracheal cuff leak + displacement was discovered. Mother extubated and reintubation and SaO2 level went to 99%. My mother was hypoxic for 14 hours and should be alive. I want truth.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You should submit your mother's medical records to a medical malpractice attorney for review without delay. If an expert physician determines that your mother's treatment fell below the required standard of care, and that she died as a result of such negligence, then a complaint for malpractice and wrongful death could be filed on your mother's behalf by your attorney in superior court.
Malpractice cases are very time-intensive and costly, so the sooner you take action the better. These cases are subject to a 3-year statute of limitations (which allows for more time only in certain limited circumstances). When did your mother pass away?
I have both prosecuted and defended many such cases over the last 26 years, and maintain longstanding working relationships with the area's top malpractice firms. Please don't hesitate to call regarding this very serious matter. I would be happy to explain the process and answer your questions about how to proceed at no charge.
I wish you and your family all the best.

Nothing in this email is to be construed as legal advice, or as a solicitation to create an attorney/client relationship.

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Asker

Posted

Mark, my only challenge is that my proxy and DPOA does not get me access to records as they once did. I am Temp/Perm Executor, and I assume the letters of testamentary may take weeks? Is there a faster way given my previous powers and temp executor (awaiting letter from probate)?

Brian P Finnerty

Brian P Finnerty

Posted

I could request the records as your attorney and have them sent directly to my office. Please give me a call on Monday to discuss. Best regards, Brian

Posted

I am sorry for your loss. Based on the above facts, I believe you are likely right. You should consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your area. A medical professional must render care within something called "the standard of care" -- that is they must act as other reasonable medical professionals with similar training and experience. If they fail to do so, and that failure leads to an injury, they are liable for medical malpractice. Rules vary by jurisdiction, as does the period of time that you have to file a claim. I would not delay in consulting with an attorney. Best of luck.

I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.

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Posted

I'm sorry to hear about this. Your mother's medical records and bills would need to be ordered and sent by a med mal lawyer to a good expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for that advice. I believe, when she passed 10 days ago, so did my right to her records as DPOA and Proxy. I am temporary and perm. executor and I think I need the Letter of Testamentary for records. I did go through her entire chart and based on what I read, I was disturbed and did confront the doctor, who gave a non-answer, "let's wait for neuro". I know that timing is essential and do not want to be thinking of these things now while in grief, but she deserved the best care and I worked hard to make sure she got it, and this, in the medical word, is inexcusable. I heard the doctors arguing after talking to me about the what the issue, the cardiologist in an angry tone, asked the pulmonologist “who was the anesthesiologist and how could they miss this?” I just need to know when I can get the records from the two hospitals.

Posted

Your summary is a little confusing, but it sounds as though you need to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

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Asker

Posted

It is confusing because one is trying to jam-in an enormous amount if information in 400 words or less.

Asker

Posted

Simply put: accidental endobronchial intubation caused by distal cuff leak is not immediately catastrophic, but if not caught in extremely short order, they results are irreversible (eg, acute respiratory insufficiency, ischemic brain damage, death). It is ICU 101. A low sat (o2) needs to be evaluated and not assumed to be a vent issue. Hypoxic for 14 hours with a sat ranging low of 40% to high 64% is death. When I realized their fatal mistake, the doctors went on damage control. I want to put my mother to rest, but I was her advocate. I cannot sleep knowing my mother could be here today if they just used common sense. Again...medicine 101. If you want the full story/case, give me a good reason why you would be a good investigator...do you understand medical practices?

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