According to the Institute of Medicine, between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors. These errors are caused by inexperience, carelessness and countless other factors. Surprisingly, only one in eight preventable medical errors result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Although patients are being injured, they may not appreciate that they are entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Fifteen-year-old Brandon Kerrigan of Bozman, Maryland was a stand-out high school athlete who enjoyed staying active with swimming, baseball, wresting and golf. But in August of 2013, his life took a turn for the worse. On August 13, 2013, a radiologist misdiagnosed Brandon with walking pneumonia. Days later, on August 17th, Brandon was taken to the Shore Medical Center’s emergency room, where doctors told him he had heart failure and that the earlier diagnosis had been mistaken. According to Kerrigan’s lawsuit, the standard protocol following a diagnosis of heart failure is to stop all fluids. Doctors failed to follow this protocol, however, a mistake the Kerrigans claim worsened his heart condition.
The next day, Brandon was airlifted to the University of Maryland Medical Center where he was given even more fluids. Brandon was treated with fluids for fourteen hours—three hours after doctors ordered fluid restriction and diuretics. The fluids caused Brandon’s heart to stretch beyond repair. He was taken into surgery where he was given a heart transplant. Doctors believe he will likely need additional heart transplants in the future.
According to attorney Giles Manley, who is also a board-certified physician, the standard medical protocol for even a suspicion of heart failure is to withhold fluids until a diagnosis is ruled out, or conversely, to restrict fluids and begin diuretics if the diagnosis is confirmed. According to PR Newswire, the lawsuit filed by the Kerrigans seeks compensation for all future medical expenses and additional losses.
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