For 67-year-old Palm Beach County Judge Nelson Bailey, a trip to the hospital nearly cost him his life. After undergoing abdominal surgery to address his diverticulitis, the Judge’s condition continued to worsen. For five months he suffered, returning to his primary care physician with complaints of abdominal pain and undergoing repeated CT scans, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Finally, the source of his ongoing pain was identified. A gauzy surgical sponge, approximately a square foot in size had been left behind, inside him, festering near his intestines. His body struggled to protect him by building a barrier around the sponge. Unfortunately for the Judge, this process caused part of his intestines to rot and a section needed to be removed
On average, physicians paid out $315,373 in Florida medical malpractice payments in 2003, WrongDiagnosis.com reports. From 1990-2003, 13,498 medical malpractice payment reports were made against Florida physicians and another 353 were made against Florida nurses.
Breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, heart attacks and appendicitis are the leading diseases garnering monetary malpractice awards nationwide. Malpractice allegations generally arise when diagnosis is delayed and treatment options are narrower in scope, more aggressive and less successful.
Meanwhile for the Judge, who has settled with the hospital and is now pursuing lawsuits against two radiologists and his surgeon, this experience has turned him into an advocate. He told the Palm Beach Post he’d like to see two things change about hospital care and malpractice. First, he believes all hospitals should have equipment that detects surgical gear left behind. Second, medical malpractice caps on the amount of damages a patient can seek should be lifted.
While the medical industry continue to scream about the cost of medical malpractice lawsuits, national studies continue to show that the cost of such suits represent no more than 10 percent of the cost of health care in America — or about the size of one annual increase in premiums. If doctors want to control the cost of medical malpractice, they need to do a better job of preventing negligence in the treatment of patients.
The West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys with Freeman & Mallard LLC are prepared to investigate medical malpractice cases. We work closely with the most knowledgeable and highest-regarded expert witnesses to determine whether the injuries and/or death were caused by medical negligence. Because of our experience in representing clients in medical malpractice cases, we take cases that other law firms have turned away. Contact Freeman & Mallard, LLC at 1-800-LAW-CENTERS (1-800-529-2368) today to schedule a free consultation and review of your potential claim.