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Millions awarded in medical malpractice suit against VA

When people in Massachusetts experience serious medical issues, they expect that their medical care providers will provide adequate care in order to treat their current condition and attempt to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future. Failure to meet an acceptable standard of care could result in serious consequences for a patient. One federal judge recently ruled that medical malpractice on the part of an out-of-state Veterans Administration Medical Center caused irreparable harm to a patient.

The 60-year-old patient reported to the VA in Oct. 2010. He had reportedly been suffering from a severe headache, among other symptoms. Tests revealed that he had experienced a stroke. Although studies have shown that those who have experienced a stroke are at risk of experiencing another, the Navy veteran was sent home with instructions to take two baby aspirins daily.

Unfortunately, the man was discovered unresponsive six weeks after the original stroke. At that time, he suffered a massive stroke that resulted in a diagnosis of "locked-in syndrome" -- he is conscious but has no voluntary muscle control other than his eyes and slight head movement. A judge recently ruled that medical negligence, including failing to provide a prescription for a blood thinner, likely led to his current disability. She has since ordered an award of $21 million to provide for past, current and future medical care, in addition to other damages.

While the award may be able to provide the family with some financial relief, he and his family are still left to cope with his likely preventable medical condition. Unfortunately, medical malpractice such as this happens far too often in Massachusetts and across the country. Anyone who has been a victim of similar negligence has the option of having his or her case heard in a civil court.

Source: unionleader.com, "Manchester VA ordered to pay $21m for malpractice that left vet prisoner in his body", Dave Solomon, April 7, 2015

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