A lot of Americans felt like they got to know five-five “Jeopardy!” champion Brayden Smith during the young man’s time on the show. They were understandably shocked, then, when he died just a short time after his last appearance on the show.
Worse still, it’s now alleged that the 24-year-old Nevada native’s sudden death was an entirely preventable product of medical malpractice.
What happened to cause this young man’s untimely death?
This case is more about what didn’t happen than what did.
Smith suffered from ulcerative colitis, so he had his colon surgically removed. It’s a relatively common procedure, and he should have gone on to live a long and productive life – except that the aftercare he received following his surgery was abysmal.
According to the lawsuit filed by his surviving family members:
- Smith was not given appropriate after-care instructions following his surgery, nor was he given the education necessary to manage his condition.
- His colostomy bags would break or leak due to his inexperience and lack of information about how to care for his condition, which created skin issues and other problems.
- He was not given any Heparin, which is an anticoagulant (blood thinner), following his procedure, something that is routinely done in order to reduce the chances of blood clots.
Ultimately, a blood clot formed in his lungs, and that proved fatal.
Cases like this show that medical malpractice isn’t something that’s confined to the operating theater, the hospital room or the doctor’s office. Instead, malpractice can be as simple as a doctor’s or hospital’s failure to give patients the information (and medication) they need to prevent a problem once they go home again.
If you believe that you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice or your loved one was killed by a medical mistake, it may be time to learn more about your legal options.