After a fall, John Mitchell, 53, went to a Kaiser Permanente occupational medicine specialist complaining of back pain, numbness and weakness. The doctor prescribed steroids and a muscle relaxer and asked Mitchell to return in one week.

At the next appointment, Mitchell reported increased numbness and weakness in his legs. The doctor referred Mitchell to a Kaiser Permanente emergency room for an MRI of his lumbar spine. The MRI showed mild degenerative changes. Mitchell was referred to a neurologist.

Before the neurology appointment, he met with a Kaiser specialist who ordered a STAT MRI of the thoracic spine. The first available appointment was four days later.
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Bradley Metts, who was 9 years old at the time of this incident, was evaluated for severe ear pain by his primary care physician at University Medical Associates. Eight days after the evaluation, Bradley’s condition deteriorated; he developed headache, nausea, vomiting and photophobia. Bradley returned to the clinic where a nurse practitioner described him as being acutely ill.

The medical provider at the clinic ordered various STAT (immediate) blood tests, including an erythrocyte sedimentation rate test and a C-reactive protein test.

Although the lab samples were sent to Athens Medical Laboratory by the mid-afternoon, the results, which were markedly elevated, were not returned for six days.
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Matthew Standley had a history of osteomyelitis, bone disease or bone infection, 14 knee surgeries, and numerous skin grafts and muscle harvests. When he experienced pain in his left knee, he consulted osteopathic orthopedic surgeon Dr. Melvyn Rech. Several weeks later, Dr. Rech performed a left knee arthroscopy, meniscectomy, a chondroplasty, and hardware removal.

Several months after these procedures, Dr. Rech performed a total knee replacement.

At Standley’s post-operative evaluation two weeks after the knee replacement, Dr. Rech prescribed Keflex, an anti-bacterial drug. Within two weeks, Standley went to a hospital emergency room, complaining of severe knee pain and drainage from the surgical site. Dr. Rech did not respond to several nurses’ calls, and Standley, 51, was subsequently admitted for treatment of cellulitis and a possible hardware infection.
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Keimoneia Redish was a 40-year-old mother of five who suffered from asthma. When she experienced breathing difficulties, her partner took her to a hospital emergency department. Testing there showed that her carbon dioxide level was above normal at 57 mmol/L and that her pH level was 7.28, which is below normal and indicated mild hypercapnia and acidosis. Hypercapnia is a condition of abnormally elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood. Acidosis is a condition in the blood that causes the pH level to fall below the normal limit of 7.35.

Although steroids and other treatments over several hours were administered, Redish’s condition did not improve. She was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit, where an attending physician intubated her and placed her on a mechanical ventilator.

Her carbon dioxide level and pH remained stable but still out of range of normal. A pulmonologist later examined Redish and recommended that she continue the ventilator but also add Ketamine, which is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. The pulmonologist indicated that if Redish’s condition did not improve, general anesthesia to relieve her bronchospasms would be recommended.
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St. Luke’s Surgicenter-Lee’s Summit LLC appealed the circuit court’s judgment against St. Luke’s after a jury trial. The gist of the claim was for negligent credentialing. The claim had been brought by the plaintiff, Thomas E. Tharp and Paula M. Tharp, his wife. The jury found in favor of the Tharps and awarded damages. On appeal, the jury verdict was reversed by the Missouri Appellate Court.

“This case arises from a medical malpractice action against a surgeon operating out of St. Luke’s Surgicenter in Lee’s Summit, Mo. In December 2011, Thomas Tharp underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy — a surgical procedure to remove his gallbladder.”

The surgeon who handled the gallbladder removal applied for staff privileges at St. Luke’s in 2005 and renewed his privileges several times thereafter. Among other requirements, St. Luke’s required physicians applying for staff privileges to disclose whether they had ever been sued for professional malpractice and, if so, the number of lawsuits they had defended.
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Ferid Okic’s common bile duct was damaged during a routine gallbladder removal surgery. His injury went undiagnosed for over a month, requiring corrective surgery and significantly delaying Okic’s recovery. Okic sued his surgeon, Dr. Athanasios Diniotias, alleging that both the surgeon negligently performed the surgery and that he was negligent in providing postoperative care.

Most significantly, Okic did not retain an expert qualified to testify regarding the applicable standard of care for performing gallbladder removal surgery.

Just before the beginning of the trial, the trial judge granted several of the defendant’s — Dr. Diniotias’ — motions in limine, including ones barring him from presenting any evidence related to the performance of the surgery because of the absence of expert testimony on this issue. In any event, the jury found against Okic and in favor of Dr. Diniotias and on Okic’s remaining theory of negligence.
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LaQuinta Murray experienced severe pain in her lower extremities. She was just 29 years old at the time. She was admitted to Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center with a diagnosis of sickle cell crisis, chronic anemia and strep throat. Dr. Mandip Arora ordered both opioid and non-opioid analgesics, as well as strict recording of Murray’s urine output.

Over the next four days, Murray was administered Toradol. She experienced critically high potassium levels and decreased urine output, but the nurses chose not to record this.

Murray then suffered renal failure, which led to fatal cardiac arrest. Murray had been a CNA. She was survived by her husband and minor child.
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Dolores Madigan, 71, had a seizure disorder. She took the anticonvulsant medications Keppra and Dilantin daily.

When she was admitted to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, she was suffering from an eye infection. Internal medicine physician Dr. Jayeshkumar Makavana ordered swallow testing to rule out a stroke. Although Dr. Makavana discontinued Madigan’s medication, a neurologist later reinstated the anticonvulsants.

The next night, a nurse alerted Dr. Makavana that Madigan had not been receiving her medicine. The nurse then administered a small inadequate dose of medication in line with Dr. Makavana’s instructions.
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Edward Dallies, 51, was admitted to a hospital suffering from a swollen left arm and back pain. A family physician, Dr. Lawrence Rahall, prescribed intravenous antibiotics.
A bone scan showed Dallies had a compression fracture of the spine. However, he did not undergo an MRI because he did not fit into the hospital’s MRI machine. Five days later, Dr. Rahall stopped the antibiotics. Dallies was discharged three days later.

Dallies’ neurological condition worsened. He became unable to move his legs. Dallies was later diagnosed as having an epidural abscess, which necessitated surgery. As a consequence of his injuries, he now suffers from paralysis and neurological deficits, including a neurogenic bowel and bladder. He is unable to continue working as a laborer earning approximately $25,000 per year.

Dallies filed a lawsuit against Dr. Rahall and one of his treating orthopedists alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat the epidural abscess and start appropriate antibiotic therapy. The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants chose not to stabilize the compression fracture.
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Vincent Minor was 28 years old when he underwent gastric bypass surgery. He developed an obstruction, which caused his stomach contents to back up above his lap band. During the surgery to remove the lap band, he began vomiting and aspirated vomit.

He later developed pneumonitis and acute respiratory distress syndrome and remained in a vegetative state until he passed away a month later. Minor was survived by his parents and two siblings.

The Minor family sued Dr. Joyce Hairston, the treating anesthesiologist, alleging that she had chosen not to place a nasogastric tube and failed to evacuate Minor’s stomach contents before intubating him. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.
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