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$3.34 million malpractice settlement after man loses arm

Sep 20, 2018 | Doctor Errors

When people seek medical care in New York, they expect health care personnel to make reasonable treatment choices. The case of a 30-year-old man who ended up losing his right arm illustrates the extent of damage that can occur when medical errors take place. The outcome of arbitration produced a settlement of $3.34 million for his pain, suffering, medical expenses and the compromised ability to earn a living.

The incident happened while the man worked on a cruise ship as a waiter. He went to the ship’s doctor when he developed a flu-like sickness with nausea. According to the arbitration records, the doctor chose an inappropriate drug and had it administered incorrectly. The waiter suffered severe tissue damage in his arm, which forced its amputation.

The doctor, who reportedly lacked experience, told a nurse to inject the man intravenously with the antihistamine promethazine. Despite being an inappropriate choice for the man’s symptoms, the drug also had a warning against intravenous injection and called for intramuscular injection instead. Medical staff ignored his complaints about burning pain. When his arm blackened, the doctor failed to order an emergency medical evacuation. By the time the ship reached a port, the man’s arm could not be saved at the hospital.

When a patient who has been harmed wants to know if the law might support a claim against a negligent doctor, an attorney could evaluate the case. If the evidence suggests that a doctor did not meet accepted standards of care, then a medical malpractice case could be initiated. An attorney could organize medical records and gather testimony from an independent doctor to support the patient’s claim for compensation.

Source: FOX News, "Cruise worker receives $3.34 million payout after ship doctor gives ‘wrong medication and wrong dosage’", Kate Schneider, Sept. 16, 2018