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Parents allege medical malpractice caused teenage son's death

When a serious medical condition goes untreated due to a doctor error, the result can be tragic. This may have been the case for a teenager who passed away in 2008. A lawsuit brought by the boy's parents alleges that their son's death was a direct result of medical malpractice. The Georgia Supreme Court recently decided to hear the parents' appeal to have their case heard in a jury trial after a lower court found in favor of the physician.

The 15-year-old boy had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery due to a sports injury. Eight days after the surgery, he returned to the hospital and presented in the emergency room complaining of pain in the left side of his chest. A chest X-ray and EKG were performed. The attending ER physician sent the teen home with a diagnosis of pleurisy.

Two weeks after that initial ER visit, the teen was again taken to the hospital, this time by ambulance. Again, he complained of chest pain and was having trouble breathing. The boy later died. The cause of death was determined to be blood clots in both of his lungs.

The teen's parents contend that the correct diagnostic tests would have revealed the blood clot but that they were not performed. They further contend that their son did not receive the proper treatment for his condition and that the doctor's error led to the boy's death.

When there is a failure to correctly diagnose a medical condition, the necessary treatment may not be rendered promptly or at all. Improper treatment may exacerbate the existing condition. If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications or death due to a physician's error, you may want to consult an attorney. An attorney experienced in the field of medical malpractice can advise you of your legal rights.

Source: Albany Herald, "Georgia Supreme Court to hear malpractice case," Jim West, June 26, 2013

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