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No appeal pending for injured patient awarded $26 million

Some stories seem so terrible that it can't possibly have happened in real life. The sad truth is that these "stories" are, sometimes, real events. One such instance of medical malpractice happened at a Georgia hospital, for which the injured patient has been awarded a $26M medical malpractice settlement.

For this particular patient, it was suspected that the patient was suffering from a hematoma that was constricting her airway - a serious surgical complication after a surgery on her neck was performed. It was alleged that the overseeing operating room doctor failed to admit her into the operating room within the two hour window the hospital deems protocol for this type of emergency. Instead, the woman was not admitted until the sixth hour of her suspected hematoma diagnosis. This led to physical and mental disability due to a brain injury suffered from lack of oxygen to the brain.

For this, the woman was awarded $26 million for her doctor's failure to meet a standard of care acceptable in this medical malpractice situation. The settlement also stipulated that it would not seek an appeal, meaning the settlement will stick and remain unchallenged by the defendant. It appears that the woman's severe brain injury could have been prevented had the woman been admitted to the OR in the correct time window, thus lessening the impact the hematoma would have on her brain and well-being. The damages awarded will be coming from St. Francis Hospital as they were deemed responsible for the activities of their employee, the OR doctor.

This is one of the largest medical malpractice judgements in Georgia history. The good news for the injured patient and their family is the settlement will stick and go uncontested. While the injury will be with the woman and her family for the rest of her life, the damages received can help her access the healthcare and financial support she will likely need for the rest of her life. Had her injury been properly cared for, she likely would not have suffered such a serious complication and thus the hospital and doctor were found negligent.

Source: lawyersandsettlements.com, "$26 Million Georgia Medical Malpractice Award One of the Largest in the State," Gordon Gibb, December 26, 2017

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