The American Medical Associationdemarcates a physical assistant as a properly skilled practitionerqualified by his or her academics and practical training under theadministration of a licensed physician. As of recent years, PhysicalAssistants have grown in number and so have their incidences ofmalpractice increased. These malpractices are more than often takenlegal procedures against the physical assistant and the healthpractitioner. Below is an instance of malpractice, which culminatedto a legal procedure being held against the physician and theirphysical assistant (The Kansa City Star, 2007).
OnDecember 4th, 2001, Lynn Flaherty was unwell and decided to visit herfamily doctor’s office situated in Mt.Lebanon. She had beensuffering from headaches and nasal discharge symptoms that areconsistent with a sinus infection. The physical assistant thatexamined her failed to make this diagnosis or to at least prescribesome antibiotics for her. Lynn received a prescription for steroidsand was instructed to return in a week’s time after she undergoesadditional testing.
However, after only five days,she succumbed to some stroke-related symptoms that includeddisorientation and facial drooping. She went to the hospital in theemergency room at St. Claire where a CT scan revealed a brainabscess. She immediately was flown to a hospital with professionalfacilities for undertaking brain surgery explained Mr. Stephen DelSole, her attorney. Before Allegheny County judge Jeffrey, the juryawarded Mrs. Lynn and her husband a 3 million dollar medicalmalpractice verdict, which took 8 days of trial.
The defendants Dr.LesleyDeGiovonni, Dr.John Montini, and their physical assistant KellieEgidi pleaded not guilty. They claimed that the plaintiff was servedappropriately on their work premises, and they had completeconfidence and trust with the physical assistant. Read from thepaperwork submitted Drs. Lesley and John claimed they wouldcross-examine every patient treated by Ms. Egidi. Lynn’s attorney,on the other hand, claimed that the doctors in the office failed tofollow protocol they had put in when employing a physical assistant.She elucidated that the testimony was undisputed and if they indeedimplemented what they said reading from their submitted paperwork,the plaintiff would be feeling a little better, but instead she wasprescribed steroids that experts said would exacerbate theplaintiff’s ailment (The Kansa City Star, 2007).
The attorney continued thatfollowing the first emergency brain surgical procedure Mrs. Lynn hada part of her skull detached and went into a respiratory failure. Shewas in a ventilator and later on had to have a follow-up surgery.Since then her skull has been replaced with a plastic ornament. Shealso went to a rehabilitation center to learn how to walk again andregain the skill to function in her daily life. She lost all herperipheral visions on her left side she has balance troubles andnerve injury on her right leg. At the age of 61she has been unable torecollect herself health wise and incapable of resuming to her workas a real estate agent. It is considered that Mrs. Lynn Flaherty isconsidered to have a frontal lobe injury.
The 3 million dollar verdict wasdivided into two 2 million dollars to accrue for her medicalexpenses and the remaining 1 million dollars to go to her husbandwho was her lover from high school, because of losing his consortium.The attorney also had sentiments to the division of the 1 milliondollars given to the plaintiff’s husband. She said that it was atough injury to the husband as well, who had a badly injured wife,and no amount of cash would change that.
According to this case, thelawsuit could not be prevented nor omitted. It was a worthy pursuitto seek justice for the vicious malpractice against the 61-year-oldpatient who, for once trusted the physical assistant only toculminate to living the rest of her life in pain, disability, andgreat despair. No amount of money, however, would reverse her pain.
The Kansa City Star. (2007).Jury awards $3 million in malpractice suit. Retrievedfromhttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/7/jury-awards-nearly-3-million-in-malpractice-case/