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$5.5 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose and treat kernicterus resulting in severe brain damage of child
$5.5 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose acute blood loss after cancer surgery resulting in brain damage to physician
$7 MillionPlus Settlement: Negligent performance of intubation post-operatively, resulting in severe brain damage to minor child.
$10.8 MillionConfidential settlement for an adult who suffered catastrophic injury from a stroke
$22 MillionRobyn Frankel vs. Palo Alto Medical Foundation GroupJury verdict for paralysis caused to patient after an unnecessary procedure.
$4.25 MillionSettlement for failure to quickly respond to a minor plaintiff’s hyperthermia after surgery resulting in catastrophic injuries including brain damage
$4 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose fetal distress resulting in minor plaintiff suffering from severe static encephalopathy

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Patients exposed to brain disease due to unsterile surgical tools

There are often cases where patient injuries stem from mistakes made in a hospital setting. This can be the result of a medical professional failing to use due diligence in preparing the materials needed to treat a patient, among other causes. Illnesses and even brain trauma may develop when materials used in the treatment process are not appropriately sterilized or handled.

California residents can look to a serious example of such an unfortunate circumstance in a recent case that took place in North Carolina, where 18 patients were potentially exposed to a rare brain disease that causes the brain to degenerate. This came after surgeons used tools on a patient with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The tools were not appropriately sterilized after this patient’s procedure, and they were then used on 18 other patients.

This major medical error could result in potentially fatal brain injuries for some of these patients. While it is reportedly unlikely that any of the victims will go on to develop Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, symptoms can take days to decades to develop, so they may have an uncertain future ahead.

It is not clear exactly why this serious medical error occurred. The hospital has reported only that some sort of breakdown occurred in its sterilization procedures; the surgical tools were sterilized, but not adequately given their exposure to the patient with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

When patients suffer preventable exposure to serious illnesses and diseases in hospitals, the hospitals or individual medical professionals may be responsible. In some such cases it is important for victims to hold negligent doctors, medical staff or hospitals accountable for medical malpractice.



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In over 25 years of practice on the defense side of malpractice cases, Jeff Mitchell is the attorney I fear most. He takes very good cases. Jeff has the medicine and the applicable literature down cold. He is without a doubt the best cross-examiner I have ever seen. I have paid his clients a lot of money over the years.
- John M.

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