Case Studies

Closed claim studies based on actual malpractice claims

  • Failure to obtain consent for esophageal dilation

    On May 6, a 79-year-old man came to a gastroenterologist for an evaluation of iron deficiency anemia.

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  • Failure to monitor thiamine levels

    Failure to monitor thiamine levels

    A 50-year-old woman consulted with a bariatric surgeon for weight reduction surgery. The patient was 5’ 4” and weighed 265 pounds.

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  • Failure to diagnose cornual pregnancy

    Failure to diagnose cornual pregnancy

    A 33-year-old woman came to the emergency department (ED) complaining of bilateral abdominal pain, back pain, and shortness of breath.

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  • Failure to diagnose retained sponge

    A 55-year-old woman was admitted to a hospital in New Mexico for a colostomy reversal.

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  • Failure to diagnose tuberculosis

    A two-year-old boy with a five-day history of intermittent fever and stomachache was brought to his pediatrician. The child was diagnosed with a viral syndrome and treated with simethicone drops

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  • VIDEO: Failure to Insist on EMS Transport

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  • Delay in detecting melanoma

    A 58-year-old man came to his family physician for evaluation of a lesion on his back. The man was a long-time patient of this physician.

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  • Failure to insist on EMS transport

    At 8:30 a.m., a patient’s wife called her husband’s family physician and requested an appointment because her husband was experiencing chest pain that began the previous evening.

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  • Failure to follow up on mammogram

    Failure to follow up on mammogram

    A 54-year-old woman returned to her primary care physician, Family Physician A. The patient reported pain in her left arm, chest, and back that had continued for a week.

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  • Failure to diagnose rhabdomyolysis

    At 3:20 p.m., a 3-year-old girl was brought to the emergency department (ED) with complaints of fever, lethargy, sore throat, severe leg pain bilaterally with decreased sensation, and absent reflexes.

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  • Failure to diagnose appendicitis

    A 6-year-old boy, accompanied by his mother, came to Pediatrician A for a sick visit on October 21. The child had a five-day history of fussiness, sore throat, coughing, vomiting, stomach pain.

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  • Failure to diagnose pneumonia

    A five-year-old girl was brought by her parents to a clinic and seen by a pediatrician as a new patient. The patient came with a one-day history of fever recorded as 104.5 degrees.

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  • Misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer

    The patient, a 36-year-old woman, had a 10-year history of a pancreatic cyst. She had two fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies in the previous year.

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  • Negligent identification of biopsy tissue

    After two years of finasteride therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia, a 55-year-old man was referred to a urologist’s office.

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  • Failure to correctly read biopsy specimen

    A 50-year-old woman had a digital screening mammogram. When compared to a mammogram taken five years earlier, the new mammogram revealed possible new calcifications.

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  • Failure to diagnose femur fracture

    A 28-year-old man was involved in a motorcycle collision, sustaining multiple injuries. The man hit the side of a trailer and was thrown off his motorcycle.

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  • Failure to monitor patient’s postoperative INR

    A 54-year-old woman came to an orthopedic surgeon with complaints of chronic bilateral hip pain lasting for 30 years.

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  • Failure to properly supervise

    A 28-year-old woman came to an orthopedic clinic with right hip pain lasting for two weeks. Orthopedist A’s physician’s assistant (PA) examined the patient and obtained x-rays.

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  • Failure to evaluate patient

    A 72-year-old man was evaluated by Ophthalmologist A on several occasions. The patient had cataracts, with best corrected visual acuity of 20/25 in the right eye and 20/40 in the left eye.

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  • Negligence in placing incorrect lens

    A 59-year-old man came to his ophthalmologist complaining of ongoing visual problems. He had a long, complicated history that included uveitis, inflammation, and glaucoma.

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  • VIDEO: Failure to Recognize Retained Sponge

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  • Improper performance — cataract surgery

    A 63-year-old man came to Ophthalmologist A complaining of visual changes to both eyes. He had a history of bilateral cataracts.

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