When a physician makes a mistake on a patient, the case goes before the state’s Board of Medicine. This is just one way that the medical professional is held responsible for his or her actions. Just recently, two doctors in Florida have been disciplined by the Florida Board of Medicine for their negligence in separate medical malpractice cases.
When a physician makes a mistake, the error can result in extreme pain and discomfort for the patient. In some instances, such as a missed tumor or cancerous mass, the mistake can cause the medical condition to worsen.
One doctor, a radiologist, was disciplined for failing to see a mass in one of her patients. The mass was discovered almost a year later when a neurosurgeon took some images on an MRI. The mass was discovered at that point. While it is unclear whether the mass was dangerous, the doctor should have seen the mass when she originally worked with the patient.
As a result, the radiologist was ordered to pay several thousand dollars in fines. While this discipline holds the doctor responsible to the Florida Board of Medicine, it does little to recompense the patient.
Another patient was the victim of medical malpractice when an anesthesiologist performed a nerve block on the incorrect leg. The doctor should have performed the procedure on the left leg, but instead did it on the right leg. When a nurse discovered the error, the surgery was halted and rescheduled to ensure that the patient was properly operated on.
The Board ordered the doctor to pay several fines and assigned to community service. While this particular instance was caught in time, wrong-site procedures can be devastating and cause permanent damage.
There is no indication that either patient is filing a civil claim. However a medical malpractice lawsuit can compensate a patient for pain and suffering and medical expenses that resulted from the doctor’s mistake.
Source: Herald-Tribune: “2 Southwest Florida doctors disciplined,” Aug. 5, 2011.