Doctors are some of the most trusted and respected members of our society. In their hands we put our health and wellbeing. When they make mistakes the consequences of those mistakes can be tragic and life threatening.
Unfortunately, this was the case when a suit was brought against a doctor at Mount Vernon Rehabilitation Hospital which resulted in $4 million medical malpractice verdict that resulted in seizures and permanent blindness in both eyes.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported on how the jury handed down a verdict of $4 million. The plaintiff was in a motorcycle accident in which he sustained severe head and facial injuries. He was taken to INOVA Fairfax Hospital to be treated. A month later he was discharged from Fairfax Hospital and was put in the defendant’s care for rehabilitation therapy at INOVA Mount Vernon Rehabilitation Hospital.
Following a seizure, the doctor ordered a CT scan two days later. The last CT scan before that was two weeks earlier. The doctor concluded, by comparing the two scans, that the plaintiff had developed hydrocephalus.
Post-traumatic hydrocephalus is a common phenomenon in cases of traumatic brain injury and that fact was well known to the doctor. Despite this he did not request a neurosurgery consult upon diagnosing it, according to attorneys for the plaintiff. He did not check the plaintiff’s eyes from the common hydrocephalic sign of swollen optic nerves (papilledema). Meanwhile the doctor was constantly informed that the plaintiff was experiencing incontinence as well as visual and walking disturbances, classic signs of elevated intracranial pressure from hydrocephalus.
Additional CT scans were taken 11 and 20 days after the second CT scan. These CT scans showed continuing hydrocephalus to such a degree that cerebrospinal fluid was ultimately forced into the cellular matter of the brain itself. Despite this, and additional seizures by the plaintiff, the doctor did not mention his diagnosis of hydrocephalus to any other doctor until family members demand he do so two days after the fourth CT scan.
The doctor finally called a neurosurgeon who immediately transferred the plaintiff to Fairfax. There the plaintiff underwent much needed brain surgery for the implantation ventriculoperitoneal shunt to relieve the intracranial brain pressure caused by hydrocephalus. However it was too little too late and he was found to be blind in both eyes. The plaintiff maintained that if the doctor had immediately had requested a consult after initially making the diagnosis this result would have been avoided. The plaintiff was represented by attorneys Frank Hilton and Humes J. Franklin III.
If you have been injured due to the mistake made by a medical professional, call our Virginia medical malpractice atorneys. Each case’s merit is based on its own facts and we cannot guarantee a result, but our lawyers have proven results. Personal injury attorney John Cooper was a member of the legal team that successfully obtained a $46 million verdict for a client who suffered a brain injury. Call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077.