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Criminal charges could lead to medical malpractice case

For many people in Massachusetts, there is no greater stress than having to leave the care of a loved one in the hands of a stranger. Their only hope is that those tasked with providing care are well-trained professionals who will ensure that their loved one is well cared for. Unfortunately, some out-of-state officials claim that the actions of some nurses regarding a mentally and physically disabled woman resulted in the loss of the patient's hand. While criminal charges have been filed, a medical malpractice suit may also be appropriate.

Reports indicate that the woman in the case had a broken finger. Nurses at the medical care center reportedly wrapped a bandage tightly around her hand to treat it. An orthopedic surgeon who later treated the woman's hand reported that the bandage was wrapped too tightly, and no fingers were left exposed.

Unfortunately, officials claim that as a result of the bandage, gangrene developed. The woman's hand then had to be amputated. Seven nurses now face criminal charges. All seven and another nurse who was not charged have since been fired from the care facility. In addition to charges related to endangering a disabled person, four of the nurses are accused of falsifying records and official misconduct.

According to the claims, it appears that negligence may have converted what would have likely been a minor injury into an amputation that will have lifelong implications for the woman. In addition to the criminal charges, a successfully presented medical malpractice case could also help with the expenses created by the the loss of the woman's hand. While no amount of damages can help erase the ordeal this woman has suffered, an award could help ensure that she receives adequate medical care in the future. Many patients in Massachusetts who have suffered similarly have chosen a similar course of action.

Source: ABC News, "7 Ex-Nurses Indicted After Broken Finger Leads to Amputation", May 20, 2015

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