Our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys recently filed a case against a Wayne County hematologist for unnecessarily prescribing and administering iron supplements to a 43 year old woman who no longer needed iron supplements. The woman originally presented to the hematologist due to her being diagnosed with mild anemia and needing iron supplements to increase her iron levels. Over the next several years, the physician ordered and administered iron supplements to the patient but failed to order and review the blood work needed to properly monitor the patient’s ferritin and iron levels.
Anemia is a relatively common condition that results from a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin (oxygen carrying substance in our blood) found in a person’s red blood cells. Anemia can cause weakness, pale skin and general fatigue. One way to treat anemia is through the administration of a series of iron transfusions. It is important that blood work be obtained and reviewed before each supplemental iron infusion to ensure that the additional iron is still needed and that the patient has not received too much iron. One the important levels to obtain and review to assess whether a patient is still anemic and/or requires additional iron supplements is the Ferritin level. Failing to order and obtain a patient’s Ferritin level, as well as other blood work, prior to additional iron infusion(s) can lead to the patient receiving too much iron causing damage to the patient’s internal organs.
In our case, the patient received additional iron supplemental infusions for almost three years after her blood results showed she was no longer anemic and no longer needed such supplements. As a result, the patient received more than three times the normal amount of iron supplements her condition required leaving her with excessive iron deposits in her liver, spleen and in her bone marrow. The only way to remove such iron deposits is through weekly and/or bi-weekly blood-letting and/or blood removal until her levels return to normal if ever. The lawsuit claims that if the physician had properly ordered and reviewed the necessary blood results for the patient, she would not have received the excessive iron infusions that resulted in her current condition.
Our medical malpractice lawyers filed a lawsuit against the physician and her professional corporations for such alleged negligence. The compensation sought in the case will include the pain and suffering she has endured and will continue to endure throughout her life, her lost wages, ongoing medical bills, and the medical expenses she is expected to incur as a result of the physician’s actions.