In May 2014 a young medical doctor died at the hospital where she was scheduled to begin her residency a few months later. She died of massive brain damage due to an untreated blood clot, which led to the filing of a medical malpractice claim against the hospital and numerous doctors. The complaint alleges that the doctors failed to give appropriate treatment, failed to timely administer indicated tests and made an entirely late diagnosis only after the patient had become brain dead. Under the alleged facts, a medical negligence claim could be supported under Oregon law.
The trial begins next week, with experts from some of the nation's best medical schools and hospitals set to testify. The complaint alleges that the decedent appeared at defendant's emergency room on May 26, 2014, complaining of severe headaches and bruising on her upper and lower body. It was the Memorial Day Weekend and there was a shortage of experienced doctors on duty.
The staff that was available did not administer a CT scan of her head. Abnormal blood work was initially reported, but no neurologist was brought in for a consultation. As it turned out, a CT scan was not administered until 44 hours after she had arrived, according to the lawsuit.
Eventually, she was examined by several physicians, but none took the indicated actions. She was transferred to the hospital's main location when her condition deteriorated. A CT scan there revealed that the blood clot had caused "catastrophic damage" to the brain along with neurological devastation. She died of massive brain injury caused by what was at first a small and treatable blood clot, according to the complaint.
The essence of the complaint is that the symptoms indicated the necessity for certain tests. Due to that failure, the physicians negligently failed to make a diagnosis and to give appropriate treatment; their late diagnosis was just that -- too late. The case is also notable because the monetary damages for a doctor just starting her career could be astronomical over the remainder of her life expectancy. The facts could sustain an actionable claim under the negligence laws of Oregon.
Source: timesleader.com, "Medical malpractice trial in death of Dr. Jennifer Sidari to start next week", Joe Dolinsky, Feb. 21, 2016