Checking someone’s blood pressure is typically a common occurrence in a Massachusetts doctor’s office. While many people know little about the numbers a nurse might read off, the results of such a check can mean the difference between life and death for some. One out-of-state man recently argued that his doctor’s choice to send him home after a significantly high blood pressure reading was medical malpractice. The jury in the case agreed.
The patient, who reportedly had a history of high blood pressure, visited his doctor in May 2010. Prior to his appointment, the man had reportedly written a note, with the help of his wife and daughter, detailing several concerning symptoms he had been experiencing, including confusion, numbness and dizziness. While it is unclear what happened to that note, the man argues that his high blood pressure reading should have caused the doctor to run additional tests and recommend hospitalization.
Instead the doctor wrote a prescription to control his blood pressure and sent him home with instructions to return in four weeks. However, the plaintiff suffered a massive stroke two days later. When he arrived at the hospital, his blood pressure was reportedly 280/150 — well over the safe level of 120/80.
The man claimed that his doctor’s failure to provide an acceptable standard of care led to the stroke which left him in a wheelchair and caused brain damage. While the jury decided that both the patient and doctor were partially responsible, they assigned over 60 percent of the blame to the doctor. The plaintiff was awarded $7.4 million in damages as a result.
The impact of medical malpractice is often startling. As a result of a mistake made by a medical care provider, a person can be left in a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life. Many such cases can even cause a fatality. For people in Massachusetts who are suffering as a result of such negligence, there is legal recourse available. An experienced attorney can help a person who is suffering, as well as his or her family members, choose the best course of action as far as civil litigation.
Source: delcotimes.com, “Stroke victim wins $7.4 million medical malpractice award“, Alex Rose, April 17, 2016