medical monitor

At Berkowitz and Hanna LLC, the firm’s medical malpractice lawyers can encounter cases involving medical errors. Known as doctor mistakes, the circumstances can range from a single incident or multiple factors, often causing a permanent or fatal impact on a patient’s health.

Medical errors can involve a failure to: thoroughly read a lab or test results; fully communicate with nurses, hospital staff the patient; and misdiagnosis. Berkowitz and Hanna LLC recently came across a WNPR interview with Carole Hemmelgarn, a Denver mother who lost her nine-year-old daughter, Alyssa, to a hospital infection while being treated there.

Hemmelgarn says Alyssa died 10 days after her daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Hemmelgarn said initially Alyssa seemed fine but then her behavior changed. Going by Alyssa’s medical chart, a doctor in training prescribed her an anti-anxiety drug because a previous doctor noted that Alyssa seemed anxious. Hours later, Alyssa’s symptoms allegedly changed for the worse.

Having worked in healthcare, Hemmelgarn said she kept telling hospital staff that “the medication wasn’t helping” but also found they “were anchored in a diagnosis that [Alyssa] didn’t really have.” It was discovered later that Alyssa died from a severe infection called c.diff that she got while in the hospital.

The hospital is said to have since made significant changes in its patient response and communication measures. Hemmelgarn cited Alyssa’s case as a “failure to rescue” as those treating Alyssa didn’t spot critical lab results and didn’t respond quickly or effectively to her condition.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC commends Hemmelgarn’s work towards helping reduce medical errors.

Please note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.

Image by Michael Coté  via Flickr.com