A medical malpractice case went to trial recently alleging that a neurosurgeon who performed a brain biopsy on an elderly man acted negligently and did not exercise due care in his treatment of the patient. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys found this case particularly interesting because an Illinois brain injury expert testified that the kind of mistake that the defendant physician made was such a basic and common issue that he believed that a person with no medical training could have made the proper decision. According the The Duluth News Tribune, the defendant physician performed a brain biopsy, which is the appropriate procedure when there is evidence of a tumor, when all of the man’s symptoms pointed to the fact that he had a stroke and there was no evidence of a tumor. Performing the brain biopsy turned a small brain stroke into a major brain bleed causing the patient a severe amount of brain damage that was all a result of the doctor’s negligence. The elderly man is now suffering from multiple cognitive defects, is having trouble speaking, and can no longer walk.
The brain injury lawsuit seeks over one million dollars in damages that include medical costs, as well as damage for lost wages and the loss of the quality of life that the man could have expected without the negligent operation. The lawsuit also alleges that not only should the doctor have realized that the symptoms likely were caused by a stroke, but also that he should have required that more MRI and CT scans were performed on the patient before making such a major decision to open up his head. The doctor’s attorneys argue that the patient had the information necessary and the consented to the procedure, knowing both the risks associated with the procedure and the alternate option available to him. However, the injured man’s attorneys argue that because of his stroke that he was not aware of what he was agreeing to and that the decision was not actually an informed one.
It is crucial that when dealing with an area of the body like the brain that a doctor takes steps to exercise the most care possible to avoid unnecessary procedures because of how sensitive the brain can be to injury. It is especially sad to see a physician trained in neurosurgery make this type of error in a case that other doctors agree is one in which a little more care and attention would have made it clear that the procedure was not the appropriate given his symptoms.
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury as a result of a doctor’s negligence and feel the doctor did not take due care before acting, please contact our Illinois personal injury lawyers to talk about what happened to you and see what options for compensation are available to you.