Celle / Karlsruhe - A family doctor has to pay half million euros in compensation to the patient's widow and her three children for grossly incorrect treatment with Solu-Decortin and Diclofenac in patient with acute back pain. A corresponding ruling by the Lüneburg Regional Court has now become final, as the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Celle announced today. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had rejected complaint by the doctor against the non-admission of the appeal by the judges in Celle (Az .: VI ZR 355/18, decision of March 12).
Because of acute back pain due to years of experience A 50-year-old patient's family doctor had injected the preparations Solu-Decortin and Diclofenac simultaneously into the gluteal muscles four times within week. A few hours after giving the fourth syringe, the patient collapsed at home. He was admitted to the hospital with chills, difficulty breathing and pain as an emergency, where he was treated immediately by intensive care.
The collapse suffered was triggered by severe septic shock, which caused multiple organ failure and ultimately extensive paralysis in the patient. The cause of the sepsis was - as later found out - an abscess from syringe. According to the court, the septic infection process could not be controlled for the doctors in the hospital.
This was followed by more than year of suffering, during which the patient had to be permanently artificially ventilated with no prospect of improvement remained largely paralyzed. In the end there was the medically supervised suicide of the patient who had expressed his wish to die for months and had confirmed this in ethical discussions with the treating doctors.
The widow and her children had the family doctor who administered the injections , thereupon sued the regional court of Lüneburg for payment of pain and suffering due to malpractice. The district court of Lüneburg (Az. 2 O 157/16) assessed the medical treatment as grossly flawed and sentenced the family doctor to pay compensation for pain and suffering in the amount of 500,000 euros. According to the conviction of the regional court advised by medical expert, the intramuscular injection of the two preparations contradicted both the professional medical standard and the current guideline recommendations.
The appeal against this judgment by the family doctor was unsuccessful. The 1st civil senate of the Higher Regional Court (Az. 1 U 71/17), which is responsible for medical liability matters, rejected the appeal as unfounded by decision of August 10, 2018.In previous reference decision, the Senate had stated that the decision of the regional court was free of legal errors.
On the basis of the convincing expert opinion, the regional court had rightly assessed the injection of the specific medication administered as gross treatment error. It also does not matter whether the patient consented to the injections being administered, because contraindicated treatment could not be justified by consent.
The fact that the dramatic course of the disease was unusual and unpredictable is clear also does not contradict the liability of the family doctor. The BGH has now rejected the complaint filed by the family doctor against the non-admission of the appeal (Az. VI ZR 355/18). The judgment is now final.