Delaware’s medical disciplinary board suspended a doctor, who was also licensed in Washington, D.C., for six months for medical incompetence. A 19-year-old patient died after receiving a pain-relief injection from the doctor. She had been receiving treatment from the doctor for months after a car accident left her with lingering pain. One day in June 2008 she went into cardiac arrest in the doctor’s office and died sixteen days later.
An Attorney General’s Office complaint against the doctor accused him of incompetence because he performed the pain-relief injections without using a fluoroscope. Many experts recommend using the device, which helps guide the needle into the nerve. When the young woman became drowsy after the injection, the doctor left her with an assistant who had no medical training. When the doctor returned and found his patient unconscious, he tried to revive her before calling 911, even though he did not have the drugs or equipment that the law requires in such an emergency situation. The oxygen canister he had in his office had already expired.
A subsequent investigation also revealed multiple other problems with the doctor and his practice of medicine. Investigators determined that the doctor only kept medical records sporadically, that he did not possess an external defibrillator, and that his certificate for administering CPR expired in 2003.
Medical errors and negligence can happen with any professional, as the doctor in this case had been practicing medicine for almost 30 years without a malpractice lawsuit or any disciplinary action. Anyone injured as a result of medical malpractice should speak with a Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney. For more information on pursuing a medical malpractice claim, contact Roger C. Johnson, a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot L.L.P.