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Teen collapses and dies -- parents allege medical malpractice

When a Maryland doctor makes a mistake in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient, it raises a number of concerns. First and foremost is the well-being of the patient and the impact of the mistake on his or her condition. Eventually, the incident may raise a different sort of red flag when the patient asks whether the doctor's mistake amounted to medical malpractice.

The parents of a teenage son who collapsed suddenly and later died in 2014 have filed a medical malpractice suit out of state. The suit alleges that the medical center that treated the teen committed malpractice. It alleges that the center's interpretation of a kidney ultrasound that was performed on May 1, 2014, was "grossly inaccurate."

After the teen discovered blood in his urine, he went to the emergency room where an ultrasound of his kidneys was performed. Doctors determined that his kidneys were stable and unchanged from his previous exams, so no workup was completed, and he was summarily discharged that very day. Two months later, on June 30, 2014, he died while en route to a youth leadership conference. An autopsy performed after the teen's death revealed a malignant tumor in his left kidney, according to the suit. The teen had died of a pulmonary embolism after part of the large tumor became dislodged, passed through blood vessels and ended up in both his lungs as well as his heart.

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to meet the established standards of care in his or her area of medicine. A case is considered valid when it meets two separate requirements -- the negligence or malpractice was perpetrated by a nurse, doctor, hospital or similar health care provider and the act directly resulted in the injury, disability, or death of the victim. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney is typically consulted to assess the validity of such a claim.

Source:, "Malpractice suit against Dartmouth-Hitchcock will proceed in federal court", Pat Grossmith, Jan. 24, 2017

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