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Doctor error leads to termination of healthy fetus

You often hear people suggest that it is a good idea to get a second medical opinion because some people have been the victims of misdiagnosis. You may even have a friend or family member who went to more than one doctor in Providence after being told that they had a serious illness or health condition. Indeed, it is always a good idea to have a diagnosis confirmed by more than one doctor or health center in order to avoid becoming the victim of a physician error.

A doctor's error led to the termination of a healthy fetus for one woman and to a sizeable medical malpractice lawsuit against the U.S. government. A woman underwent a medical procedure after being told by multiple staff members at an Air Force hospital that she had what is known as a molar pregnancy. In a molar pregnancy there is no fetus. Instead, there is a mass of tissue that can be cancerous and the cancer can rapidly spread, becoming life-threatening to the patient.

Apparently, the doctor and a certified nurse midwife misread the ultrasound. A third ultrasound showed the fetus but the doctor who performed the surgical procedure did not check those results. Consequently, the doctor destroyed the woman's unborn child. A claim for $1.7 million was denied by the Air Force, opening the door for the woman and her husband to file a lawsuit.

The medical errors committed by staff at this hospital seem unbelievable and the woman has been traumatized by her experience. When someone is the victim of such errors, it is important to consider taking legal action. This is not only to obtain some form of compensation but also to bring attention to the matter so that someone else is not a victim.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot, "Pregnancy lost due to hospital error, lawsuit alleges," Elizabeth Simpson, Feb 17, 2013

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