Nerve damage in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) interferes with the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Any of the body’s systems can be affected, and the condition can be lifelong as MS patients here in New Mexico are already aware. Treatment can help with the symptoms, but there is no known cure. Even so, a doctor on the west coast believes that a controversial procedure could cure patients. The question before a court in his area is whether an injury to a patient during the procedure constitutes medical malpractice.
The procedure, which is balloon angioplasty, remains experimental in the treatment of MS. The current case involves a then 54-year-old woman with MS who underwent the procedure and then suffered a stroke. She claims that a perforation during the surgery caused her stroke. She is now unable to perform daily tasks such as dressing herself and can no longer walk.
The doctor claims that the patient knew that a stroke was a potential risk for the procedure and that he did not make an error during the procedure. He goes on to say that perforations are not detectable during the surgery and are not considered to be negligence. It will be up to the court to determine who is right.
Even if a New Mexico patient is aware that a certain surgical risk exists, that does not necessarily mean that it was not medical malpractice if it occurs. Informing a patient about the risk does not excuse a surgeon who incorrectly performs a procedure or makes a mistake during it. If an injured patient, or a family whose loved one died, believes that a doctor error occurred, it would be beneficial to discuss the matter with an attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a legal action.
Source: ocregister.com, “Malpractice trial begins for Newport Beach doctor accused of controversial MS treatment that led to stroke“, Courtney Perkes, Dec. 1, 2016