Case Studies

Closed claim studies based on actual malpractice claims

  • Cyber fraud case study: Failure to recognize phishing email

    Cyber fraud case study: Failure to recognize phishing email

    The hospital received an email invoice from the ED group with instructions to send payment to a new account.

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  • Failure to timely intubate patient

    A 58-year-old man came to Neurosurgeon A for treatment of neck pain with radiation to his arms. The patient had a history of hypertension and diabetes.

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  • Failure to protect patient’s airway

    A 41-year-old man came to the emergency room on August 21 with severe abdominal pain for 5 days, vomiting, nausea, and inability to eat.

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  • Failure to monitor warfarin levels

    A 70-year-old woman with a history of diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension was taken to Hospital A, due to severe aortic stenosis.

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  • Failure to properly manage warfarin dose

    An 89-year-old woman suffered a fractured right femur requiring surgical repair. She had a complicated history and comorbidities.

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  • VIDEO: Failure to Recognize Retained Sponge

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  • VIDEO: Failure to Insist on EMS Transport

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  • VIDEO: Improper Prescribing

  • Failure to monitor patient’s INR

    In 2007, a 65-year-old man began seeing Family Physician A for treatment of high cholesterol and bronchitis. Over the next two years, the patient was seen for routine care.

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  • Failure to confirm diagnosis of polycythemia vera

    In November 2007, a 40-year-old man was referred to an internal medicine physician by his primary care physician. The patient reported feeling weak and tired.

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  • Delay in diagnosing breast cancer

    A 77-year-old woman with a history of cigarette smoking and COPD came to her family physician reporting a lump in her right breast.

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  • Failure to treat myocardial infarction

    At 6:51 p.m., a 62-year-old man came to the emergency department (ED) of a local hospital reporting pain in the “chest wall area.”

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  • Failure to properly treat

    A 74-year-old woman visited Cardiologist A with symptoms of congestive heart failure. She had a history of dilated cardiomyopathy, mitral valve regurgitation, and significant pulmonary hypertension.

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  • 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. The patient’s chart included a history of solid food dysphagia.

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  • 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 monitor patient postoperatively

    A 31-year-old woman arrived at a rural hospital emergency department (ED) with severe nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain that had lasted for two days.

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  • Failure to diagnose epidural abscess

    A 44-year-old woman with a history of IV drug use was treated at a clinic for a foot infection and back spasms.

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  • Failure to diagnose and treat acute coronary artery syndrome

    At 9:30 am, a 43-year-old man came to the emergency department (ED) of a metropolitan hospital. He reported chest pain, dizziness, diaphoresis, shortness of breath, and pain going down his arms.

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  • Overprescribing NSAIDs

    A 50-year-old man came to the emergency department (ED) of a large medical center with symptoms that suggested cellulitis. He had a fever of 102.4 degrees, and his blood pressure was 163/92 mm Hg.

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  • Unnecessary surgery

    A 61-year-old woman with a history of colon polyps was referred to General Surgeon A for a colonoscopy.

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  • Failure to monitor patient following bariatric surgery

    A 22-year-old, morbidly obese woman came to a bariatric surgical center for a sleeve gastrectomy procedure. The patient completed extensive preoperative diagnostic testing and education.

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  • Delay in performing cesarean delivery, hysterectomy

    A 42-year-old woman was receiving care from Ob-gyn A for her third pregnancy. The patient’s second child had been delivered by Ob-gyn A nine years earlier.

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  • Failure to properly interpret BRCA test results

    In December 2011, a 40-year-old woman came to her ob-gyn for a well-woman visit. Per the patient’s request, breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) testing was scheduled to take place in 10 days.

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