State settles U of Iowa malpractice suit by group of doctors for $7.5 million

The State of Iowa has agreed to pay a $7.5 million malpractice settlement after a man was left with severe neurological deficits following treatment for a bleeding brain tumor at hospitals and clinics at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, the Globe Gazette reported July 12.

Seven details:

1. Seventy-five percent of the payout was awarded to Unemployment Insurance doctors, but because the group has a cap of $5 million per claim, the state will pay $2.5 million on the 7, $5 million.

2. The settlement dates back to Dec. 26, 2016, when Christopher Dolan, now 47, attended Trinity Medical Center in Bettendorf, Iowa with a temporal headache, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, visual blurring and sensitivity to light. After a CT scan revealed a possible tumour, Mr Dolan was transferred to the UIHC.

3. Diagnostic tests indicated that Mr. Dolan had a pituitary tumor and mass, and the UIHC referred him with instructions to contact UIHC Neurosurgery in two weeks. However, with worsening headaches and vomiting, Mr Dolan returned to the Trinity ER the next day, where he was discharged with prescriptions and told to contact the UIHC if his condition worsened, the report said. .

4. On December 27, Mr. Dolan again went to the UIHC with a severe headache, vomiting, blurred double vision and eye pain. Another CT scan had providers concerned about “elevated intracranial pressure and rapid tumor expansion until bleeding,” according to the lawsuit. But despite this, Mr Dolan was reportedly released on December 28 and told to follow up with UIHC neurosurgery.

5. On December 29, Mr. Dolan went to the UIHC emergency room with a severe temporal headache behind his eyes. The lawsuit said he also couldn’t keep down any food or medicine, and an MRI indicated the tumor had grown in size and was beginning to hemorrhage.

6. Four surgeons performed a transsphenoidal resection of the pituitary tumor on Mr. Dolan on December 30. Surgeons found the tumor had destroyed bone in Mr Dolan’s sellar region and filled in his left sinus. On January 17, 2018, more than a year later, Mr Dolan was discharged from the UIHC with “persistent neurological deficits”, including speech impairment, paralysis and impaired motor, bowel and bladder functions, according to the report.

7. UI and state prosecutors said the allegations provided an incomplete summary of Mr. Dolan’s medical records and argued that something else may have contributed to his medical issues. The state failed to admit liability by settling the trial before it went to a jury.

UI does not comment on disputes, UI spokesperson says Becker’s.

About Jessica J. Bass

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