Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What happens when a doctor fools patients into thinking he is a competent doctor not once, not twice but at least half a dozen times? The terrible answer is several lives lost, several people paralyzed for life and others with permanent pain and life-long injuries. Neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch worked for Baylor Medical Center Plano as a neurosurgeon in Texas and is now the subject of a medical malpractice suit filed by a victim. The terrible part of this whole story is that the medical center failed to report Duntsch to the National Practitioners Data Bank and the Texas Medical Board allowing Duntsch to continue to seriously injure and kill patients.
In fact the medical center wrote a letter of recommendation for the doctor even after surgeries in which one patient was rendered a quadriplegic and another patient died under Duntsch’s care. The letter permitted Duntsch to obtain temporary privileges at another Dallas area hospital where he allegedly killed and maimed others. The carnage finally stopped after the doctor was suspended by the Texas Medical Board in June of 2013 after fellow physicians complained following the deaths of two patients and paralysis and other severe injury of others.
This extreme case of medical malpractice is absolutely unconscionable. However most often medical malpractice cases don’t involve such prolific injuries but the injuries are just as life-altering. Each year, thousands upon thousands of people are affected by the mistakes of hospitals, surgeons, and doctors – and the majority never file medical malpractice claims. A staggering 225,000 people die each year due to medical malpractice.
For example, Jim Lewis, one of our firm’s Virginia medical malpractice attorneys, helped a family of a victim who passed away due to a medical error by a doctor involving a cut uterus and colon. The victim went into the hospital for a routine gynecologic procedure called a D & C. The surgeon used a hysteroscope and during the procedure, the doctor perforated the victim’s bowels with the instrument. Unfortunately, the physician did not realize she had perforated her patient’s bowel and sent her home. Very shortly thereafter, the victim became terribly ill and ultimately died due to septic shock caused by the cut or perforated bowel. This unfortunate medical error caused our client’s wrongful death. If you ever feel you have been a victim of medical malpractice, trust your instincts and contact an experienced attorney.