Was I the victim of malpractice or negligence?

Asked over 1 year ago - Ellicott City, MD

I'm 49, and have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Last Fall, I was also diagnosed with persistent Atrial Fibrillation. In January, a failed attempt at cardioversion was performed. I was prescribed Flecainide at 50mg by my primary cardiologist, which was increased to 100mg by my electrophysiologist. I went back into "normal" rhythm on my own. In February, I suffered a ventricular tachycardia and cardiac arrest while at work, but was fortunately rescued with CPR and an AED. I had a defibrillator inserted. Flecainide was discontinued. I saw a new doctor who specializes in HCM, and he told me that Flecainide should never be prescribed for people with my condition, and that it almost always leads to a v-tach event. All doctors affiliated with the same hospital network. Do I have any recourse?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Marcus Bazzell Boston

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . Before you can go forward with a medical malpractice case here in Maryland you are going to have to have another doctor pretty much say that your treating doctor messed up. If your new doctor will go on the record saying that you should have never been prescribed Flecainide in your condition, it helps your case a lot. Contact an attorney in your area for a better assessment.

    Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Boston is licensed to practice law in Maryland. The response herein is not legal advice and... more
  2. Brandy Ann Peeples

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    Answered . Contact a local medical malpractice attorney for a thorough assessment of your case.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more
  3. Paul M D'Amore

    Contributor Level 4

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    Answered . I’m very sorry that you’ve suffered adverse effects after being prescribed medicine by your health care provider.

    I would recommend consulting with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney with a track record of handling medication error cases. You would need to show damages resulting from the Flecainide prescription. Damages may be medical bills resulting from the defibrillator operation, lost past and future wages, and pain and suffering. If you have recovered completely from your cardiac arrest and have not suffered lost wages, decreased health, or other harms, it may be difficult to prove to a court that you are owed a recovery from your health care provider.

    The hospital or insurance company may claim that your cardiac arrest was caused by your other medical issues. Refuting such a claim might require expensive expert witnesses and lengthy pretrial discovery.

    Medical malpractice cases are very expensive to bring and require a great deal of expert knowledge and work. Many Maryland medical malpractice lawyers provide free consultations and I would recommend speaking with one to evaluate your case. There are a wide variety of potential legal issues implicated by your situation and a more in-depth consultation with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer should give you a clearer picture about any potential legal action.

  4. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Yes, your recourse is to retain a local attorney experienced in handling medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice and negligence are used interchangeably. I'm glad they put in an internal defibrillator. Good luck to you.

  5. Laurence Michael Deutsch

    Contributor Level 6

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    Answered . Assuming that there was negligence in the prescription, but that you recovered fully, you technically may have "a case" but not one of sufficient value for many attorneys to pursue. If you are A-OK now, I would (even a lawyer wanted to pursue a case) seriously question whether it is worth your own personal time, trouble, and yes stress of pursuing a claim. I represent Plaintiffs by the way, so I'm not trying to discourage anyone from a proper suit. I am, however, mindful of the psychological "carrying costs" of having a case (and nothing resolves quickly). So, if you were a relative, I'd tell that if you are not all OK since the arrest, go see a lawyer. If not, not. This is, as you can tell, not strictly a legal analysis, but one that requires a blending of legal analysis, with making a personal value and lifestyle judgment.

    This is not to be considered legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship. Inquiries may be... more
  6. Elizabeth Taylor Herd

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    Answered . This anti arrhythmic medication is indicated for a-fib. I don't know if your doctor is indicating that your cardiomyopathy made the drug a contraindication for you. But your case will be a tough one because you seem to have multiple cardiac issues and in cases like yours the cards are stacked against us. I think juries are inclined to give doctors the benefit of the doubt due to complexity. I am drawn to cardiac cases and have experienced this first hand. I wish you the best and hope you find an attorney in your area.

  7. David Ian Schoen

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    Answered . Possibly. Consult with a local med mal attorney.

  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Have a local malpractice lawyer order the records to review.

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