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Medical Malpractice...

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

Little bit of backstory:

DS1 broke his arm (actually, the radius and the ulna) on March 15.  A long arm cast was put on March 16th.  The dr removed the cast on April 6, saying the bones had enough callous on them to go cast-free after only 3 weeks.

Here we are, a few short weeks later... and DS1 broke his arm AGAIN.  Same bones, SAME SPOTS.  The ER dr pulled the xray from the ortho's office (I got to see it) and said "Wow... that cast shouldn't have been taken off so soon..." - the bones were where they were supposed to be, but you could still see the gap between them.  They were nowhere near healed. 

Here's my thing... Should I file a malpractice suit against the ortho who removed the cast too early?  It's my thinking that if the cast had stayed on, the arm would've had more time to heal, therefore simply falling and catching ones self SHOULDN'T have resulted in the severe break that we have now.  This time around, his xray looked like pick-up sticks.  When they held his arm upright to splint it, his arm kinda folded over like soggy bread.  I am devastated.  The procedure to manipulate the bones back into position should only take 15-20 min... it took over an hour.  He had to be sedated TWICE - and he still may need surgery (we will find out on Monday). 

I'm not sure if we want any monetary compensation - I just want this ortho to know he made a mistake, and I really believe he owes my son an apology.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 4, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Replies (21-30):
Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 4, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I apologize for getting a tad overheated. I have been witness to several people file these claims over the most ridiculous things, and as you can see based on what I have been through, I get a little upset.

I really am sorry that your son had to go through this, I truly am.

Yes, the doctor will be notified if you file a complaint with the medical board. Also, if he operates out of a hospital, you can inform them. Notifying the Better Business Bureau is another avenue.

Now, I will say, that if your sons arm doesn't heal correctly because of the 1st physicians lack of care, then at that point I would say to file a malpractice claim. There could be nerve damage as well as other issues that aren't known right now.

Just so you have a timeframe, you should look up the statutes in your state about the the time limit you have to file suit.

It also wouldn't hurt to write a letter to the physician yourself letting him know how dissatisfied you were. And it wouldn't be out of line to ask for him to pay the other doctor bills. Save copies of any correspondence and mail with signature required receipts.

I apologize again for being testy. I wish your son speedy healing and no future problems.

Quoting Anonymous:

Wow, I'm sorry that happened to your family.  It sounds so.... scary.  I apologize if I may have upset you... no, I don't want any money.  The only costs we're out is from having to take days off of work for the care of our son and small co-pays, and honestly, thats not something I am upset about.  What will happen if I write a letter to the medical board?  Will they say something to the dr?  I don't want this to happen to any other child that may go into his care... seeing my son's arm literally fold in half because there was no bone support was painful to me - the pediatric ortho that manipulated his arm into somewhat correct position had NEVER seen a case this severe.  All from simply falling - because his arm was not healed properly - due to oversight by the originaly ortho. 


I just want him to know how much pain this has caused, and that I'm upset by his lack of proper care.


Quoting Anonymous:

If it isn't for monetary reasons, then simply write a letter to the medical board.

I honestly don't, for one solitary minute, buy that you aren't in it for the $$.

My husband was almost KILLED by an anesthesiologist 12 years ago. He spent 2 weeks in ICU after what should have been a routine back surgery. The anesthesiologist perforated his esophagus. This led to infectious disease being called in (because they didn't know what happened at 1st) and a multitude of other physicians (15, not including his original 2 surgeons).

He ended up on a ventilator because he developed pneumonia and his lungs collapsed. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. That didn't include the emergency surgery 6 hours after major surgery to insert a Pemrose Drain from the back of his brain to his stomach because the infection spread THAT quickly. I was told if I hadn't spoken up (because I kept telling the nurse something was wrong, yet she argued with me), that he would have been dead a mere 2 hours later!!

The anesthesiologist was intoxicated when she was performing her duties while they operated on my husband for 8 hours. We would have had an open and shut case and would be well off. We didn't file suit simply because we were thankful that he was alive!!! I wasn't going to be a widow and have to raise our 3 children alone.

So, lesson of the story, things really aren't as bad as they could be, you are full of it when you say you aren't in it for the $, and there are a LOT of things in life to be thankful for!

Write a damn letter if you aren't happy, but don't ruin someone's livelihood simply because you are wanting easy $.



Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on May. 5, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Sorry I left out that the sentiment was repeated by the pediatric ortho that worked on his arm.  She wondered why he would remove the cast when the bone was not ready. 

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I work for a group of orthopedic surgeons. I should disclose that before I go any farther.

You should NEVER take the word of an ER doctor over an orthopedic surgeon in the case of a broken bone. The orthopod is a specialist. They are highly trained specifically in bone breaks, the ER doc would have to defer to an orthopod in all decisions concerning the casting. ER doctors are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to physicians. He had no right to say that to you, or pass judgement as to when the cast needed to be removed. 

3 weeks in a cast is a perfectly acceptable amount of time for casting in a child. Casts are almost always removed before the bones are totally fused together.  


jb0520
by Platinum Member on May. 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM
Call malpractice atty! Don't let too much time go by! If this were my son, I absolutely would be calling!
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Aslen
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2012 at 8:08 AM


Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I work for a group of orthopedic surgeons. I should disclose that before I go any farther.

You should NEVER take the word of an ER doctor over an orthopedic surgeon in the case of a broken bone. The orthopod is a specialist. They are highly trained specifically in bone breaks, the ER doc would have to defer to an orthopod in all decisions concerning the casting. ER doctors are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to physicians. He had no right to say that to you, or pass judgement as to when the cast needed to be removed. 

3 weeks in a cast is a perfectly acceptable amount of time for casting in a child. Casts are almost always removed before the bones are totally fused together.  

Bottom of the barrel?

He had every right to say that to the OP, and looks like in the OPs case, the ER doc was right... otherwise it wouldn't have broken again would it? 

And what, praytell do you at your Ortho's office?

wife07_mom08
by on May. 5, 2012 at 8:10 AM

I wouldn't even hesitate to call a lawyer now to start!!! GL hoping ur son is ok

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on May. 5, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Thank you... Some of the replies have me like O_o if you know what I mean.  I mean, hell, I'm not an ortho, but one would think that logically... the bones have to be touching in order to heal properly, and if the cast is taken off too soon it won't be immobilized so there will be the stress of the arm being moved... therefore making the broken area weaker and more susceptible to repeat breaking.

Quoting Aslen:

 

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I work for a group of orthopedic surgeons. I should disclose that before I go any farther.

You should NEVER take the word of an ER doctor over an orthopedic surgeon in the case of a broken bone. The orthopod is a specialist. They are highly trained specifically in bone breaks, the ER doc would have to defer to an orthopod in all decisions concerning the casting. ER doctors are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to physicians. He had no right to say that to you, or pass judgement as to when the cast needed to be removed. 

3 weeks in a cast is a perfectly acceptable amount of time for casting in a child. Casts are almost always removed before the bones are totally fused together.  

Bottom of the barrel?

He had every right to say that to the OP, and looks like in the OPs case, the ER doc was right... otherwise it wouldn't have broken again would it? 

And what, praytell do you at your Ortho's office?


Aslen
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

What type of fracture was it?

LMAO I work in Endcocrinology and I'm with you OP... :: off to find my anatomy books::

Quoting Anonymous:

Thank you... Some of the replies have me like O_o if you know what I mean.  I mean, hell, I'm not an ortho, but one would think that logically... the bones have to be touching in order to heal properly, and if the cast is taken off too soon it won't be immobilized so there will be the stress of the arm being moved... therefore making the broken area weaker and more susceptible to repeat breaking.

Quoting Aslen:


Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I work for a group of orthopedic surgeons. I should disclose that before I go any farther.

You should NEVER take the word of an ER doctor over an orthopedic surgeon in the case of a broken bone. The orthopod is a specialist. They are highly trained specifically in bone breaks, the ER doc would have to defer to an orthopod in all decisions concerning the casting. ER doctors are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to physicians. He had no right to say that to you, or pass judgement as to when the cast needed to be removed. 

3 weeks in a cast is a perfectly acceptable amount of time for casting in a child. Casts are almost always removed before the bones are totally fused together.  

Bottom of the barrel?

He had every right to say that to the OP, and looks like in the OPs case, the ER doc was right... otherwise it wouldn't have broken again would it? 

And what, praytell do you at your Ortho's office?



Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 5, 2012 at 9:02 AM
It sounds pretty negligent to me, as a health care provider.

Op- I'd take those films to another ortho for second opinion. I asume you won't be using he same orthopod to treat this.

Quoting Mrs.Miller11:

No you do not have a malpractice law suite on your hands. As with ALL medical procedures, there is a risk. Your childs doctor did not maliciously hurt him, he was not negligent, he did not purposely intend for him to get injured again. The second injury was your sons fault. The doctor was doing what he thought was the best for the situation.

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Elyce225
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't think you would have a case.  I'm sure the Dr that took the cast off could prove that he thought it was fine at that time.  I'm sure you signed paperwork too that let you know the risks that come along with any medical procedure.

If you do try to sue, the Ortho will have a radiologist back him on the callous findings, that is probably what happened in the first place anyway.  ER doctors are not radiologist and do not specialize in bones.  

If you go to court and you have an ER doctor vs. an Ortho and a Radiologist they will laugh at you.  You should just pay your lawyer to lose now.  The lawyer will laugh all the way to the bank.

ETA:  Negligent would be not putting the cast on at all or waiting too long to put the cast on, not taking it off too soon.

sammygrl77
by on May. 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM
No. Medical malpractice takes years, if you can even prove it. 4 years is not uncommon. It is a long stressful process that I would not recommend unless there is a severe lifechanging result of negligence.

It is very hard to prove medical malpractice. You have to prove it was a varience from standard of care, which it does not sound like a solid enough case in that area.
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