Specifics of Medical Malpractice in Minnesota

In possibly the largest wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit verdict in Minnesota history, jurors awarded $20 million to the family of a mother who died after giving birth to her child. The woman died less than a week after delivering her baby at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, according to the Star Tribune. The lawsuit claims that an Emergency Room doctor failed to diagnose sepsis, which is the presence of harmful bacteria and toxins in tissue, and which can be fatal. The mother was sent home despite a test showing the presence of sepsis; she returned to the hospital 12 hours later but died due to the spread of the bacterial infection. The incident occurred in 2013, which shows how long serious lawsuits can take to resolve. If you were injured by a doctor’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit with help from an experienced Woodbury medical malpractice attorney.

Medical Malpractice Vs. Non-Negligent Error

Even the most dedicated and experienced physicians and medical staff make mistakes. Surgeries always come with some degree of risk, and the human body, and the diseases and pathogens that affect it, are so complex that virtually no part of medicine is a sure thing. The results of various studies show that between 10 and 20 percent of patients receive misdiagnoses, 28 percent of 583 misdiagnoses were either life-threatening or resulted in death, and that there are 40,500 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) fatal misdiagnoses each year, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis. However, just because a patient is misdiagnosed does not mean that medical malpractice took place. If the standard of care was not violated, the mistake was a non-negligent error, not medical malpractice.

Standard of Care

Physicians and medical staff are held to what is called a “standard of care.” This means that one doctor in Woodbury is expected to treat the broken foot of an eight-year-old boy in a similar manner as a doctor in Bloomington would treat that same patient. For some more complicated procedures and diseases, such as treating late stage cancer, the standard of care becomes more of a gray area. There may not be a strict standard of care for treating illnesses that are highly expected to end in death, and, of course, one cannot hold a doctor accountable for failing to cure a disease that is nearly always fatal.

Call a Woodbury Attorney

Only when the standard of care is violated and the patient suffers an injury, illness, or death can a claim or lawsuit be filed. If you have been injured at the hands of a negligent physician, contact the Woodbury law offices of Novitzke, Gust, Sempf, Whitley & Bergmanis today for help.

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