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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Unhappy Doctor Forgot Pain Medication After Craniotomy

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Pennsylvania.

    My brain surgeon forgot to order pain medication for me and I suffered the worst headache you can imagine for more than an hour before I got out of bed and went out on the floor to find a staircase I might throw myself from. There was much commotion and yelling (in my surgical ear) as nurses tried to get me back into bed. Finally the meds. came but the damage was done. My nursing was negatively affected and I escaped the hospital less than a day after brain surgery. I wouldn't be asking about it here if my doctor had acknowledged it but he claimed total ignorance both times I asked. It was also hard for my husband who tried to get me the help I pleaded for.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Med. After Craniotomy

    Quote Quoting ecu
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    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Pennsylvania.

    My brain surgeon forgot to order pain medication for me and I suffered the worst headache you can imagine for more than an hour before I got out of bed and went out on the floor to find a staircase I might throw myself from. There was much commotion and yelling (in my surgical ear) as nurses tried to get me back into bed. Finally the meds. came but the damage was done. My nursing was negatively affected and I escaped the hospital less than a day after brain surgery. I wouldn't be asking about it here if my doctor had acknowledged it but he claimed total ignorance both times I asked. It was also hard for my husband who tried to get me the help I pleaded for.

    What are your damages?

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Med. After Craniotomy

    Quote Quoting ecu
    View Post
    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Pennsylvania.

    My brain surgeon forgot to order pain medication for me and I suffered the worst headache you can imagine for more than an hour before I got out of bed and went out on the floor to find a staircase I might throw myself from. There was much commotion and yelling (in my surgical ear) as nurses tried to get me back into bed. Finally the meds. came but the damage was done. My nursing was negatively affected and I escaped the hospital less than a day after brain surgery. I wouldn't be asking about it here if my doctor had acknowledged it but he claimed total ignorance both times I asked. It was also hard for my husband who tried to get me the help I pleaded for.
    Sooooo...you had "brain surgery" and there wasn't an IV pain pump on board post-op? Can you please tell us your diagnosis or how extensive the surgery was?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Med. After Craniotomy

    What was the nursing staff doing, and what were they telling you, during the hour between when you requested pain medication and when you got out of bed?

  5. #5
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Med. After Craniotomy

    Sorry, there were no meds. from the time I woke up in recovery until after I pitched a fit. At the time the nurses told me that they were working on it. Later I learned that the doctor had just forgotten me in the rush of his next patient. The surgery was an MVD located at the base of my brainstem. A quarter size hole is drilled through the skull, the cerebellum allowed to fall out of the way, other bone drilled and various layers of tissues cut and moved in order to reach and, in my case cut away and cauterize, the blood vessel compressing the nerve.

    I can't begin to describe the pain and the memory of it still haunts me. I need another procedure as this one was unsuccessful and have trouble trusting another go-'round. I did nothing when an endodontist slipped with his drill and made a large hole in my sinus that led to many problems, including surgery, or when a dentist pulled a molar unnecessarily, or a number of other troublesome events we all encounter in life. I'm asking about this because it's coming up in flashbacks and when I try to process it psychologically I have to deal with the surgeon's lack of response. Pursuing it might be an incentive to other surgeons to take better care. It's also been an issue in our marriage of 28 years. We're working through it but I'll always wonder why my DH didn't do something like a Shirley McClaine, as I would have.

  6. #6
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Medication After Craniotomy

    I'll ask again. What permanent or long-lasting damages have you suffered?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Medication After Craniotomy

    I think the answer to that was "psychological trauma that makes me nervous about having another surgery".

    Have you talked to the surgeon about this? If he was pulled into an emergency surgery the second he got out of your OR, he may not even know that you weren't given pain medication.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Medication After Craniotomy

    Thanks, MK, for your help with cbg's question. It seems so obvious to me that I can't imagine it not being clear to another. I did speak to the doctor about it. First the morning after surgery and again at my follow-up two days later. He claimed to know nothing about it both times, curious as the commotion on the floor was intense and involved three or four nurses, including the administrator who ultimately calmed me down with the reassurance that it would not happen again. She explained that the order for meds. was not placed before my surgeon went on to his next, scheduled patient. We patients were lined-up like planes on a tarmac. My own surgery didn't begin until more than five hours after it was scheduled. My contention with the administrative nurse I spoke to, once meds. kicked-in and I was no longer an irrational animal, is that there should be a system in place for such situations. I worked in IT and we had strategies in place for ensuring that a user would never be without a computer for longer than an hour. Surely the same consideration can be shown in neurosurgery?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Medication After Craniotomy

    Quote Quoting ecu
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    Thanks, MK, for your help with cbg's question. It seems so obvious to me that I can't imagine it not being clear to another. I did speak to the doctor about it. First the morning after surgery and again at my follow-up two days later. He claimed to know nothing about it both times, curious as the commotion on the floor was intense and involved three or four nurses, including the administrator who ultimately calmed me down with the reassurance that it would not happen again. She explained that the order for meds. was not placed before my surgeon went on to his next, scheduled patient. We patients were lined-up like planes on a tarmac. My own surgery didn't begin until more than five hours after it was scheduled. My contention with the administrative nurse I spoke to, once meds. kicked-in and I was no longer an irrational animal, is that there should be a system in place for such situations. I worked in IT and we had strategies in place for ensuring that a user would never be without a computer for longer than an hour. Surely the same consideration can be shown in neurosurgery?
    what evidence do you have of psychological trauma, and what proof do you have that this psychological trauma was caused by this event?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Doctor Forgot Pain Medication After Craniotomy

    She has the same proof anybody does when claiming psychological trauma arising from an event. Her own description of what's going on in her mind, possibly combined with any records of psychological and psychiatric treatment.

    You were in a hospital. There are lots of doctors in hospitals, and I truly doubt that there was no doctor empowered to prescribe medication to you while your surgeon was busy performing surgery on another patient. It seems more like a breakdown in the post-op system than something you can blame on your doctor, particularly given that it appears that nobody even informed your doctor of the issue until you spoke to him considerably after-the-fact.

    I am skeptical of the viability of the "psychological trauma" claim, first because everybody is afraid of surgery, second because you've had problems after surgery in the past and have gotten over any resulting fear, and third because I expect that if you were to actually litigate this you will have had the subsequent surgery long before the case could come to trial, thereby undermining the sole claim of damages.

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