In August of 2000, a professional basketball player from the Philippines checked himself into the University Community Hospital-Carrollwood in Floridan complaining of a headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and double vision. The man’s name was Allan Navarro, and he informed the triage nurse that he had a personal medical history of hypertension, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol, as well as a family history of strokes.
When the attending emergency physician saw him, Allan told him that he had a headache that appeared suddenly during the day and that he had felt a “pop” in his head. Even though Allan provided all of this information, the physician attending him did not conduct a full case history examination, nor did he conduct a neurological examination. Allan spent close to 6 hours in the hospital and was discharged with a “sinusitis/headache” diagnosis after two CT brain scans had been completed. The physician prescribed him some Vicodin for the pain and an antibiotic.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, a couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor and an ultrasound technician for what they believe constitutes as medical negligence.
What should have been a joyous occasion marking the birth of their child quickly turned sour when the couple realized that their son had been born with no arms and only one leg. Closer medical examination revealed that the baby’s disabilities were extensive, with the parents even going as far as labeling them as “horrific.”
In 2013, a man from Maryland died after contracting rabies from an infected kidney that he received as a transplant in 2011. This is only the second time that rabies has been transmitted through a donated organ in the US. Rabies is extremely rare in the US - causing only 1 to 3 deaths a year. Additionally, signs and symptoms of rabies usually appear within a month or two after initial infection, so the fact that the man’s symptoms appeared over a year after his transplant was something that steered doctors away from a rabies diagnosis.
According to reports, the kidney donor, a 20-year-old Air Force airman, died of encephalitis, however, doctors could find no reason for this. In fact, they believed he may have been poisoned, so they did a full medical work-up and tested for everything they could think of in order to try and determine the cause of his encephalitis. They didn’t think to check for rabies and declared his organs and tissues safe for transplantation - a major medical error on their part.
Actress Julie Andrews is a well-known and well-loved star in Hollywood. Made famous from leading roles in movies such as “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music,” Julie Andrews had a gifted singing voice which was her pride and joy. Sadly, an unfortunate case of medical malpractice in 1997 caused her to lose her singing voice and resulted in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
After consulting with two doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital due to discomfort whilst singing, Julie Andrews found out that she had noncancerous nodules on her vocal cords. Whilst these nodules can generally be treated without surgery, Julie Andrews opted to have a throat operation in 1997 to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, the operation was botched, and she was left with hoarseness and permanent vocal cord damage. She could no longer sing on a professional level - something which had been the foundation upon which her livelihood and fame were built.
Wrongful death and medical malpractice are two terms that confuse many people. They’re very closely linked, with the key distinguishing feature being that as a result of a medical practitioner's negligence, you or a family member dies a premature death. Examples of types of medical malpractice that lead to wrongful death include: