We trust our doctors and other health care providers to do no harm. The Hippocratic Oath, which originated in ancient Greece, still embodies the physician’s ethical rule to do no harm. Unfortunately, our trust and the Hippocratic Oath do not eliminate the possibility of error. Occasionally, medical mistakes do happen.
When a Medical Error Is Deadly
We represented a young man who sought medical treatment from a primary care provider following severe headaches with episodes of blurred vision. His symptoms included one-sided numbness, dizziness, and a sense of intoxication.
Our client’s primary care provider did not recognize the symptoms as indicators of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIA is often a precursor to a stroke. It is a brief period of neurological dysfunction caused by artery blockage.
As a result of the primary care provider’s oversight, the young man later suffered a major stroke resulting from a vertebral artery dissection (VAD), or a flap-like tear in the inner lining of an artery wall. The stroke caused locked-in syndrome, a condition where all voluntary muscles are paralyzed while the patient remains conscious. Ten months after his stroke, the young man died from complications of the stroke.
Using Technology to Make the Case
We hired professionals to create a 3D CTA scan to illustrate our client’s medical injury.
The 3D CTA scan shows occlusion of the right vertebral artery in the patient’s neck and occlusion of the basilar artery in his brain. Occlusion is a term describing blockage or closing of a blood vessel.
The basilar artery supplies the brain with oxygen-rich blood, and combines with the vertebral arteries to make up the vertebrobasilar system. The 3D CTA scan shows how this system was affected and why it caused the stroke.
New Technology In the Court Room
3D renderings based on actual data from MRI or CT scans are extremely effective evidence. This type of evidence is called demonstrative evidence. A medical expert can explain what happened, but demonstrative evidence can help a jury visualize what happened.
Recent studies show that approximately 75% of what people know is learned through visualization. Using the right demonstrative evidence in a particular case is important.
At Fales & Fales, we dedicate resources to finding the best technology available to help our clients. If you have questions relating to personal injury, we want to hear from you.
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