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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 (41-50):
Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on May. 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

It was a full break (though the bones didn't move much) of the radius about 2in from the elbow and the ulna about mid-shaft.  This break is in the exact same locations (therefore, classifying as a "rebreak") and the bones were moved to 90 degree angles.  The drs were suprised the skin wasn't broken and bone protruding.

Quoting Aslen:

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?

 

 


Elyce225
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I know that, that is not what I said.  I said an Ortho will get a radiologist to back him up on his findings.  If you have a bone specialist and an imaging specialist with the same opinion you will not have a case.  If your ER doctor finds a radiologist to back him up it was be a doctor who does not specialize in bone vs. one that does.  They will laugh.

Quoting Anonymous:

Most orthopods read their own films shot in their own office. Films likely shot by an MA or nurse. Definitely not reviewed or read by a Radiologist.

Quoting Elyce225:

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.


lil_Army_Wife05
by Platinum Member on May. 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Yes, I would!

miss_lisa
by on May. 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM
If you read the responses you'll see another ortho has already seen the X-rays and stated that the original ortho should not have removed the cast.

Quoting Elyce225:

I know that, that is not what I said.  I said an Ortho will get a radiologist to back him up on his findings.  If you have a bone specialist and an imaging specialist with the same opinion you will not have a case.  If your ER doctor finds a radiologist to back him up it was be a doctor who does not specialize in bone vs. one that does.  They will laugh.


Quoting Anonymous:

Most orthopods read their own films shot in their own office. Films likely shot by an MA or nurse. Definitely not reviewed or read by a Radiologist.



Quoting Elyce225:

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.


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ReadWriteLuv
by on May. 5, 2012 at 9:55 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm an X-ray tech. 

ETA: I'm not an MA, nor a Nurse, I am a registered X-ray tech with 8 years experience who is registered by the ARRT, and the State of Washington, and a member of the ASRT. I'm not some other proffession posing as an X-ray tech, I'm the real deal.

And YES, ER physicians are the bottom of the barrel, they are the equivalent of front line defense, thats why they have to call in specialists, like Orthopedic surgeons, to look at their patients.

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?

Elyce225
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Yes, I read that.  Again, I don't believe she has a case at all.  I have seen many malpractice cases and a lot of the times if there is an conflict such as this the patient will not win, especially if it isn't life threatening.

Besides, the OP said she does not want the money, just an apology.  Here's an idea, ask for one.

If she tried to sue this doctor and loses she will be marked in the medical field.  Doctors won't come near her since she will be viewed as sue happy.  She better have a damn good case if she doesn't want that to happen, which she doesn't.   Have you ever been involved in a medical malpractice case?  Do you know how long it takes to prove anything?  

I was in a case where there were two patients with the same exact name, same birthdays just born a year apart.  One was pregnant and one had cancer.  The results got mixed up.  The office gave the pregnant woman the cancer news which then she decided to have an abortion.  She didn't have cancer at all.  The other patient did.  She tried to sue the office (and in that case anyone would) and lost.  There was so many specialist, nurses (I was one of them), techs, MAs etc that had to testify.  It took nearly 5 years.  She didn't get a dime, she lost.   There were other doctors to testify against our doctor, other specialist too, didn't matter at all.  As long as our doctor had back up there was no way he was going to lose.  That is how it usually goes.  

Also, cell rejuvintion happens after the cast if off, that is how the bones heal.   When the bone breaks it heals itself by bleeding.  That happens in the first few days.  At three weeks that is PLENTY of time, especially for a child.  

Quoting miss_lisa:

If you read the responses you'll see another ortho has already seen the X-rays and stated that the original ortho should not have removed the cast.

Quoting Elyce225:

I know that, that is not what I said.  I said an Ortho will get a radiologist to back him up on his findings.  If you have a bone specialist and an imaging specialist with the same opinion you will not have a case.  If your ER doctor finds a radiologist to back him up it was be a doctor who does not specialize in bone vs. one that does.  They will laugh.


Quoting Anonymous:

Most orthopods read their own films shot in their own office. Films likely shot by an MA or nurse. Definitely not reviewed or read by a Radiologist.



Quoting Elyce225:

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.



miss_lisa
by on May. 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Because we all know your personal experience trumps everything.

Im not saying she should sue, I'm simply stating that your point is wrong. You keep claiming its an ER doctor, but it wasn't an ER doctor but another ortho.
Quoting Elyce225:

Yes, I read that.  Again, I don't believe she has a case at all.  I have seen many malpractice cases and a lot of the times if there is an conflict such as this the patient will not win, especially if it isn't life threatening.

Besides, the OP said she does not want the money, just an apology.  Here's an idea, ask for one.

If she tried to sue this doctor and loses she will be marked in the medical field.  Doctors won't come near her since she will be viewed as sue happy.  She better have a damn good case if she doesn't want that to happen, which she doesn't.   Have you ever been involved in a medical malpractice case?  Do you know how long it takes to prove anything?  

I was in a case where there were two patients with the same exact name, same birthdays just born a year apart.  One was pregnant and one had cancer.  The results got mixed up.  The office gave the pregnant woman the cancer news which then she decided to have an abortion.  She didn't have cancer at all.  The other patient did.  She tried to sue the office (and in that case anyone would) and lost.  There was so many specialist, nurses (I was one of them), techs, MAs etc that had to testify.  It took nearly 5 years.  She didn't get a dime, she lost.   There were other doctors to testify against our doctor, other specialist too, didn't matter at all.  As long as our doctor had back up there was no way he was going to lose.  That is how it usually goes.  


Quoting miss_lisa:

If you read the responses you'll see another ortho has already seen the X-rays and stated that the original ortho should not have removed the cast.



Quoting Elyce225:

I know that, that is not what I said.  I said an Ortho will get a radiologist to back him up on his findings.  If you have a bone specialist and an imaging specialist with the same opinion you will not have a case.  If your ER doctor finds a radiologist to back him up it was be a doctor who does not specialize in bone vs. one that does.  They will laugh.



Quoting Anonymous:

Most orthopods read their own films shot in their own office. Films likely shot by an MA or nurse. Definitely not reviewed or read by a Radiologist.







Quoting Elyce225:

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.



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Tea4Tas
by Ruby Member on May. 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Unless you can get the ER dr and another ortho to agree the cast shouldn't have neen removed, you hae no case...and getting  Dr to do that isn't easy.

ReadWriteLuv
by on May. 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Did the fracture look like this,  only proximal instead of distal?

This is actually a nearly healed distal radius and ulnar fracture. Note the osteoblasts at the break site. This is at four weeks, and the cast is ready to be cut off. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous on May. 5, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Even if you do sue and get your bills paid..You do realize it does nothing to the doctor unless his liscense is pulled?

They will need to take a frivolous CE course, their insurance probably won't go up ( depending on how many other cases are won/lost that year.)  


Sorry for your son but I think you need to really think about what you want from the outcome because the doctor will "learn" nothing trust me. 

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