New Mexico sees many cases where a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis and formulates a treatment plan on that mistaken premise. When injury or death occurs from the negligently made diagnosis and incorrect treatment, a claim for medical malpractice will be appropriately asserted. In one example in another state, a jury recently returned a $3.7 million verdict for a widow whose husband died of a massive pulmonary embolism while in a hospital under the defendant doctor’s care.
The verdict was against a urologist who was accused of not engaging the correct treatment for the man’s deep-vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital recommended to the doctor that the patient was a high risk for deep-vein thrombosis. However, the doctor did not take the appropriate measures, which would have been to instruct him to engage in some walking exercises and also to use anti-thrombosis stockings. Remaining in a sedentary state is a high risk for this type of pathology.
The doctor had scheduled surgery for the patient, and when being moved from his bed to a stretcher, he suffered the fatal attack. Apparently, the doctor utilized a treatment regimen that did not help to prevent the thrombosis. The plaintiff’s case was undoubtedly enhanced by the testimony of experts in the field who outlined for the jury the reasons why the defendant doctor was responsible for the tragic outcome.
The pulmonary embolism consists of a blockage of the main artery to the lung. The blood clot — typically formed in the leg — breaks off and travels to the lung. The plaintiff is a retired nurse who had health problems and needed the help of her husband. The verdict will help her to maintain her retirement now that she is without his assistance. If these facts were presented for determination of a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico, it is likely that a similar result would occur under this state’s medical negligence laws.