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Delayed appendectomy results in wrongful death claim

Although Portland patients can generally expect the best of care from their hospital and medical providers, medical mistakes can happen. As one family learned, a condition as common as appendicitis can have fatal consequences when not promptly diagnosed.

The sister of a teenage girl recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital and its doctors, alleging that her teenage sister should not have died of appendicitis. The victim went to an emergency room complaining of fever, severe abdominal pain and other symptoms. After several hours in the hospital's waiting room, she eventually had an emergency appendectomy.

Following surgery, the teenage girl was placed in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit. It is then alleged that her condition deteriorated after being prematurely transferred to another facility. The equipment monitoring her heart and vital signs also stopped working as the teen was transferred from the ambulance into the second hospital. Another emergency operation was done, but she passed away on the operating table. The complaint alleges medical malpractice, negligence, wrongful death and other claims.

As evidenced by this case, appendicitis can be deadly if not timely diagnosed. A burst appendix can cause an infection in the abdominal cavity or spread bacteria, thus creating an infection in the blood stream.

If people have lost a loved one due to the medical malpractice of a hospital or physician, they may be entitled to file a civil claim for relief on behalf of their estate. The loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when such a death could have been prevented. In some cases, a civil suit can assist people in recovering compensation against the responsible parties on their behalf.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Sister says Kaiser on hook for sibling's death," Philip A. Janquart, Jan. 15, 2013

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