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Elderly woman's death results in medical malpractice suit

When sick or injured, individuals go to doctors and other medical professionals in order to receive accurate diagnoses, quality care and to get better. However, it unfortunately does not always work out that way for some Maryland residents. Sometimes, the professionals may cause further injury. Fortunately, victims retain the right to file medical malpractice suits in order to seek financial compensation and hold the negligent medical providers accountable for their actions.

An out-of-state hospital was cited for a 93-year-old woman's death in 2013 that was caused by an improper procedure. The malpractice suit alleges that after a nurse gave a patient a fairly powerful narcotic, the nurse did not follow proper procedure. The patient stopped breathing and later died as a result, according to the suit.

The woman had come to the hospital with a stomach ache, and the nurse who cared for her violated at least two hospital rules. Firstly, she did not accurately assess the patient's pain level or document it. Secondly, the nurse gave the patient a powerful narcotic but did not tell the next nurse or any of the doctors that she had done so. The woman died of respiratory failure due to the combination of narcotics, dilaudid and morphine, according to the lawsuit. An investigation by the California State Department of Public Health later concluded that there was wrongdoing by the hospital.

A medical professional or care facility can be liable for medical malpractice due to improper treatment, a flawed diagnosis or even the treatment of a patient without receiving proper permission. Successfully navigated, the suit may result in an award for financial relief that may help with the cost of medical bills, lost wages or, in the event of the patient's death, punitive damages for the loss of life. An experienced Maryland attorney is typically consulted to assess whether or not medical malpractice, in fact, occurred.  

Source:, "Clovis Community Medical Center sued for malpractice in elderly woman's death", Gene Haagenson, Aug. 12, 2016

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