Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Arizona

I don't know if this a case of medical malpractice or just bad service. I had surgery to remove a tumor from my left ovary back in February. The mass was discovered during a pelvic ultrasound the previous November. The OB/GYN who peformed the surgery is a complete ass and made this entire situation drag on longer than it should have. I have complaints besides his demeanor, which made me even more nervous. This was my first surgical procedure that required general anesthesia and 3 incisions. I was very panicky and really wasn't thinking clearly from the time I was told surgery was necessary.

A week before my surgery, the doctor explained the procedure and told me he would stitch my incisions. My husband was with me during this meeting. There is a woman in the Dr.'s office who is supposed to check to be sure all aspects pertaining to the surgery were covered under my insurance. I had to prepay the Dr., which included $100 deductible. The Dr. planned to use a surgery center in which he is part owner with about 17 other doctors, which I didn't know until the day before was not in my insurance network. If I had not been so tense about the surgery, I would have asked about using a facility in my network, but I needed to have this procedure over and done. The Dr. had already moved my surgery 2 days later than scheduled and I wasn't able to have anyone stay with me at home.

The day before my surgery, I talked to a nurse who obtained my health information. I was asked if I'm allergic to latex and I told her "No, but I'm alleric to adhesive." I also told her that it gives me a terrible rash that is difficult to heal. I was then told that since the surgery center is not in my insurance network, I would need to pay another $100 deductible as well as pay my co-pay before the surgery, which I did when I checked in the next day. I have a receipt that shows, "Co-pay, paid in full." I had my surgery and didn't know until I went home that adhesive was used to close all my incisions. A few days after my 1-week follow-up visit with this Dr., I broke out in a terrible rash that spread all along the incision area and beyond. I went to see my GP not only about the rash, but I had a greenish liquid oozing from my incisions. I was put on Prednisone (very mood altering, worsening my depression) for the rash and given anti-biotics to keep any infection away. It took over 2 months for the rash to completely go away and the rash made it more difficult for my incisions to heal. There is more to this story re: the doctor's negligence, but I don't have room to type all. Also I found out through my insurance company that my outpatient svcs. were maxed out and the surgery center was due to send me a bill for $9,800+. I did receive a bill for a little over $1,600. However, I feel as if they owe me for the extra meds I had to take, not only for the post-op problems, but the Dr.'s mistake in prescribing the wrong pain meds. Also I feel I'm owed for the suffering I endured. All of this made it difficult for me to take care of my quadriplegic husband. Do I have a case?

Asked on 8/03/09, 6:46 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joan Bundy Joan Bundy Law

Yes you do. And I would recommend you consult with a medical malpractice attorney, which I am not. But at first blush I would say that this is very much malpractice on the part of the doctor(s) and staff, on numerous fronts. I am sorry this happened to you. Best of luck!

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Answered on 8/11/09, 8:27 pm

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