It is unfortunate when anyone gets ill or injured, but when illness or injury goes untreated, the results can be devastating. The death of an 80-year-old Colorado resident has caused her family and multiple agencies to question whether her doctor’s negligence was a factor in her death and the reportedly poor care of other patients. The woman fell while on an expedition and fractured her pelvis and back. Shortly following her accident and treatment, her health began to rapidly decline. She developed a condition known as c. diff., which leads to not eating or drinking, violent diarrhea, and – if untreated – death.
Following her passing, her family filed a lawsuit against the doctor that treated her. What was uncovered after filing the lawsuit was staggering for many. The doctor has apparently received multiple sanctions over the past decade, and has been involved in multiple complaints and malpractice lawsuits. According to state and court records, this doctor has been linked, as the treating physician, to other unnecessary injuries or deaths.
Something else that was later discovered was that the doctor has, since 2002, been on probation. The reasons cited for the probation include mismanaging patient care, and neglect. The families of the individuals who became ill or died unnecessarily have been reaching out for years to get this doctor’s license revoked. The medical board, however, has stated that the system does not work like the “three strikes and you’re out rule,” and that the individual complaints were addressed individually rather than as a series of serious problems.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stated that substandard conditions were present at the location where the woman that recently died was being treated. At least seven other cases of substandard care have been found in Colorado. So far, reports do not indicate what the next course of action is for the families of those affected.
Doctor’s negligence is a serious concern for Colorado residents. While it is always a good idea to look at the public records regarding a physician before making a choice, there is a certain level of expectation with doctors that proper care and safety will be provided. In cases like the eight victims in our state, it may now rest in the hands of the family and their representation to make changes for the better.
Source: thedenverchannel.com, “State allows doctor on medical board probation with series of malpractice claims to keep license,” John Ferrugia and Arthur Kane, May 13, 2013