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Lawsuit claims failure to diagnose led to additional surgeries

There are a variety of different reasons a person in Massachusetts might undergo surgery. Regardless of the reason, it is the doctor's responsibility to notify a patient of any known risks of a procedure. Additionally, it is his or her responsibility to adequately diagnose and treat a complication. One out-of-state woman claims that although the condition she suffered was a known risk of the procedure she underwent, her doctor's failure to diagnose her condition ultimately caused her more harm.

When the woman was 36 years old, she underwent a procedure that was intended to help her maintain a successful pregnancy. One of the risks of the procedure was a perforated bowel, which she experienced. However, she claims that her doctor -- the defendant in the case -- did not diagnose her condition in a timely manner.

The day after the surgery she began experiencing symptoms that she claims clearly indicated a perforated bowel. These symptoms included a fever, abdominal pain, an elevated white blood count and extended abdomen, among others. After two trips to the emergency room, the defendant finally admitted her to the hospital but failed to conduct the needed tests that would have indicated her bowel issues for another two days. She ultimately required two additional surgeries to repair the damage.

A jury has recently agreed with the woman's claims of medical malpractice and awarded her $1.57 million -- almost $475,000 for medical expenses with the rest for pain and suffering. For people in Massachusetts who have also suffered as a result of their doctor's failure to diagnose their ailments, pursuing legal recourse is more than seeking an award of damages. It is about holding medical professionals responsible for their negligence and preventing future patients from experiencing the same suffering.

Source: chronicle.augusta.com, "Richmond County jury awards woman $1.57 million for diagnosis error in medical malpractice case", Sandy Hodson, June 11, 2015

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