John Ritter's widow sues doctor over mistake

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    Check it out;

    Ritter's family says he didn't have to die - Los Angeles Times


    As we all well know, John Ritter, died in the hospital. What we now learn is that the doctors who diagnosed him initially treated him for a heart attack, and not the arterial tear that killed him.

    As a result, Ritter's widow actress Amy Yasbeck has decided to sue the docs for misdiagnosis for starters, and I hope she rips him a new ass by getting him for malpractice.

    Remind me if ever i need to have heart work done to avoid the cocksuckers who did Ritter in.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. dolfette

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    why?

    are you qualified to say that they should have known sooner?
    it doesn't say in that piece whether the docs followed procedure...maybe they followed it exactly. maybe tears show as heart attacks.

    maybe the docs were wrong...i'm not an ER doc so i've no idea.
    or maybe they were only guilty of not being psychic.

    if i ever have a heart attack, i hope that the docs aren't too afraid of litigation to treat me.
     
  3. THEEman

    THEEman New Member

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    I hate doctors they think know everything, and throw meds at you
     
  4. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    Dolfie, you know i respect you and your opinions there, hon. But the fact remains is that the doctor made a 1st hand guess about Ritter's condition, and didn't bother following it up with the tests to confirm or unconfirm it, which an x-ray,mri, or whatever would've shown in an instant, and would have saved him.

    thanks for your input:wink:
     
  5. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    seriously if they had some reason to suspect an arterial tear he probably wouldn't have survived anyhow. Aortic ruptures and the like are certain death in most cases, even if the person is on the operating table. You basically have the artery explode and the blood volume pours into the chest, abdomen, and everywhere. With that much blood volume loss there is no way to replace volume and repair the damage.

    Unless he had had a genetic condition suspected, they really would not be looking for that. I know for Marfan's syndrome they look to make sure the aortic arch diameter is not too larged or weakened and sometimes do repairs.

    But he likely presented with chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, probably radiation of pain in his neck or arm which would be common things to look for in a heart attack.

    I realize one of his family members got checked later, but there was now a reason to look for it since John's death.

    I'm sorry for their loss and the world of entertainment. He was a great actor but I really see no presentation of symtoms that would be considered usual to suspect a heart attack.

    My dad died of likely an abdominal aortic anurysm. Basically, he bled out and had no chance. He was shocked within 1 minute of going down. With that much blood volume loss even if he was on the operating table chances were grim. That amount of volume depletion sends them into shock and there is no blood to pump through the body, it was all in the belly. My dad was dark purple from the mid abodomen up.

    I don't really personally think in John's case based on what I have read that he was mistreated or that they should suspect a arterial rupture. I speak from my knowledge in healthcare for 15 years (mostly on the ambulance). EKG tech and I also was certified in ACLS and asked to return as an instructor at the age of 18. Again I feel for their loss but I think sueing the doctor isn't going to help in this case. It will be interesting to see what decision is made in court, if they don't settle out of court.

    Edited to add: Not sure if it were an ER doc or cardiologist that is being sued but an ER doc does the best they have with the testing available at the time. I guess they could have sent him to the cath lab but decisions were probably based on his EKG. A lot of things go wrong with the heart...damage from heart attacks, electrical problems from the nodes that control the number of beats a minute. If they were extremely concerned his family should have been adament that he received a second opinion! Patients and their families have a responsibility too. Doctors are human, they can and do make mistakes. They interpret their diagnosis or educated guess on many things. We never will know what John said to his doctors. Maybe he didn't present with classic symtoms of any specific problem. Why did the family wait this long to sue, I have an issue with that.
     
  6. SpeedoGuy

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    My uncle had an enlarged aorta that was getting ready to blow. Only by chance was it detected beforehand while he was undergoing an ultra-sound for an unrelated abdominal problem. He was treated for it and is now OK but it was sobering for him. I've been advised to occasionally get scanned for the same potential problem.
     
  7. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    The only problem is- that heart attacks and aortic dissections have amlost no distinction altogether, and the attending physician should've ordered the proper tests to confirm it, given the fact that Ritter's condition worsened.
     
  8. dolfette

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    when you're treating what you believe to be a heart attack, you have time to take x-rays & mri scans?
    you can't say, over the body of a man who appears to be dying of a heart attack "hey, on the 1000-1 chance this is a tear, why don't we let him die while we scan him?"

    there's, i believe, blood tests to confirm heart attacks...but those would take time.

    unless you're qualified, how can you say they did anything wrong?
     
  9. dolfette

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    heart attacks worsen all the time!
    if they stopped treatment to do tests, surely they would lose hundreds more heart attack victims and not even be able to save the tiny number of tear victims they detect at that stage anyway.

    hind sight.
     
  10. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    But the problem is that he was actually having aortic dissection! And that he was n't improving after heart attack treatment should've said something to the doctors.

    Here. the skinny on Aortic Dissection:
    Aortic dissection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. ZOS23xy

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    Bear in mind that medicine is still pretty much intuition guesswork, and MRI and other tools have help draw the line from art to science.

    The issue at hand? A heart attack is would have been the initial thought. That's what the symptoms would look like. MRI's are not portable and not used for field dressing. It's a shame he died; he was a fine actor and comic, and his widow is blindsided in grief to sue.
     
  12. dolfette

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    people die of heart attacks during treatment all the damn time!

    "shoulda" is easy to say but not always practical.

    if you hope for anything, shouldn't you hope for justice? for the right outcome, whatever it may be?
    rather than blindly lash out because someone must hang for it?
     
  13. classact1979

    classact1979 New Member

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    Unfortunately I have recent first-hand experience at what can happen if a doctor doesn't pay attention. Too many doctors pigeon-hole patients into neat little packages according to what they think, and not necessarily do they base their medical decisions on the individual patients.

    Too many doctors, especially specialists, think they know best, and don't listen to the patients. They react as though patients don't know what they are talking about, and since the patients didn't attend medical school and have the credentials, the doctors are the only ones who can make a good decision for the process of medical care.

    My story, at least has a happy ending, I'm here, right? If it weren't for God's intervention and placing me in the hands of people who took my symptoms seriously, the outcome could have been totally different.

    I was being woke during the night with terrible chest pains, aches in my right arm, my neck and jaw. I called my cardiologist (yes, I was already a patient at a cardiology clinic, for electrical problems). The first time I was told to call back if it happened again. The second time I called I was told to call 911 if the symptoms didn't go away. The third time I was told to come in the next day. At that appointment, tests were scheduled for a month away. I woke at 1 a.m. two days later in severe pain, with sky-high blood pressure and prayed for God to protect my heart. I made it to work at 8:30 a.m. and was flatlined by 8:49.

    Needless to say, I've changed doctors (I now go to the doctor that ended up saving my life). It's taken me three months to get a copy of my records from the first medical office and was surprised to read the doctors notes. He starts out saying I never complained of chest pains, and ended by noting the recurrent chest discomforts. It sounds to me like he really didn't pay attention to what I was telling him.

    I now try to let everyone I come in contact that you can't be too forceful when trying to get appropriate medical treatment. I was always reaching out to my doctors and still they let me down. Call, yell, scream, do what ever is necessary to get their attention. Your voice is your best tool.
     
  14. SpeedoGuy

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    Sadly, I have to agree. I've been ignored, patronized, put off, and otherwise pigeonholed by highly paid doctors often enough to know that I must be my own medical advocate 24/7. Note: I don't enjoy being a pest to a professional trying to do their job but I found out the consequences of innocently and blindly trusting the judgement of doctors and remaining silent. Trusting silently cost me health problems that will last the rest of my life.

    I'm not sure if the reason is arrogance, ignorance, sloth, overwork, or whatever, on the part of doctors but I increasingly find I have to be my own doctor. So I agree with classact: Call, yell, scream and do whatever is necessary to get the care you need. The system won't automatically do it for you.
     
  15. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    they likely would have ordered an ECHO not an MRI. An Echo machine is portable but they are very time consuming. We really will not know until we hear a verdit and trial info of what happened. All we can do as outsiders is speculate what happened and what should have likely happened.

    He was a celebrity, he probably got more attention than the average patient. We dont know if he was actually suppose to have further testwork done later and maybe he ruptured waiting for the test.

    My issue again with this is why did they wait so long to file this lawsuit??? It's been 3.5 years since his death. If the family thought more should have been done they should have addressed or questioned the staff for more testing that day. I'm pretty sure that if the doctor even thought that he was a canidate for a rupture he would have had further testing earlier. Again, his condition could have deteriorated at ANY point that day. Once he ruptures there is not a lot could be done. It didn't sound like he presented with a leaking problem....again we will likely find out more as this case progesses.
     
  16. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    these days you HAVE to be your OWN patient advocate. Bitch until they listen. I have almost been killed by doctor errors on more than one occasion. I study and keep up on everything to do with my health down to knowing the properties of the medications I take and it has saved my life.

    If I question a doctor, I speak up. I speak up for family who can not or do not understand as well, like my grandmother when I took care of her. Yes, I saved her life too from a cardiac problem.

    But seriously, if you have medical problems learn as much as you can. If you don't understand ask questions until you get answers that you understand. Don't just sit there and let them assume or not take you seriously. Who gives a damn what they think that you may be a pain in the ass, it's your life!!! Learn, relearn, and keep up to date...that is a key to helping manage your own health!!!
     
  17. alex8.5

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    Possibly a few different test may have saved Mr. Ritter's life. Now it's up to a judge or jury to decide.
     
  18. midlifebear

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    I'm still not completely out of the woods as far as being secure that my prostate cancer is completley in remission. I'm 56 and there's still time for me to seek other treatment if turns out the brachytherapy doesn't work. I, too, had to be my own health advocate. Every 'Mericuhn urologst I consulted wanted to immediately slice and dice me, without even looking at my complete medical file (X-rays, CAT scan, blood work, sonogram tomography, and lab results of my biopsies). I'm happy with my choice of care outside of the USA (plus it's saved me a ton of money). However, it galls me no end when I hear the USA medical establishment and its clients cry wolf about alternative treatments not yet certified by the FDA and use anecdotal accounts that patients who sought alternative treatments are now complaining of complications or that the condition has returned.


    For example, HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) is used in Canada, the UK, Japan, many EU countries, México, Chile, Brazil, and now Argentina. I keep reading sad laments posted on the Prostate Help web site by 83, 84, on up to 86 year-old 'Merichuns about how their prostate cancer has returned and how they should have gone for the original slice-and-dice recommended by their doctors in the USA instead of HIFU. First, at that age their cancers were high-end Stage II or full-blown Stage III. Even radical prostatectomies and highbeam radiation combined with chemo would have had a hard time wiping out the disease, as well as left them completely incontinent. Plus they are 84 to 86 years-old! What the Hell are they expecting? To live forever?

    As far as Ritter's situation is concerned, even though I'm relatively unsympathetic to most physicians in the USA, medicine is as much an art as it is a science. Certainly, there are amazing things that have been developed to monitor and care for all sorts of cardiac conditions. But there are no guarantees. Ritter's wife is going after something that may make her and her attorneys feel better, but it'll just up the price of good, affordable health care for everyone else in the USA.

    My long-time sugar booger of 9 years who had health insurance that covered him for everything including being run over by free-range chickens, up and died on me one afternoon after complaining about having a headache all day. It was an anyeurism that eventually blew in the back of his head. He'd never been sick a day in his life, or at least during the 9 years we were together. During the 15 minutes it took for me to wrangle him into my Jeep and to the hospital three blocks away, he was pronounced DOA once they pulled him out of my car and onto a guerney. Hell, I'd of liked to sue the Universe, but didn't.

    Life is life and its only guarantee is that it will end for all of us eventually.
     
  19. alex8.5

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    I don't quite understand how $67 million dollars would make Mrs Ritter feel better.
     
  20. MidwestGal

    MidwestGal Member

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    it won't bring him back. Maybe she wants to donate it to charity or start a foundation in his name. Either way, that is a ridiculous amount! I don't care who you are!
     
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