Cohen Milstein is currently litigating a medical malpractice, wrongful death case, arising from the defendant’s failure to perform an x-ray to rule-out a potential bowel perforation for “Free Air” following a colonoscopy procedure.
In October 2012, Mr. Skiles underwent a colonoscopy procedure at the South Palm Ambulatory Surgery Center. Following the colonoscopy procedure, Mr. Skiles developed a distended abdomen, pain and discomfort, as well as nausea and vomiting. Based on the patient’s complaints of pain, the gastroenterologist who performed the study ordered an x-ray done to check for a potential bowel perforation, a medical emergency that requires immediate surgical treatment to avoid infection that can cause death.
The x-ray was ordered to be performed immediately at an outpatient radiology facility owned and operated by Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
The radiology facility refused the study because of a determination made by a clerical employee that “… we do not accept (patient’s) insurance.”
In fact, the facility did accept the patient’s insurance and, under Medicare rules, was obligated to perform the study regardless of coverage because it was ordered as an emergency study.
The study was never performed, and the patient was sent home.
Later that day, his wife rushed him to the hospital due to complaints of severe abdominal pain. In the hospital a perforated bowel was diagnosed, ultimately leading to bowel resection surgery.
Although the patient initially survived his surgery, he later died due to complications of sepsis.
Trial is scheduled in Palm Beach County in October 2018.
The case is Skiles v. Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Inc., et al., Case No.: 502014CA006618XXXXMBAG, or Case No.: 502014CA009817XXXXMBAN in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County, Florida.