Delaware fans of the popular television game show Jeopardy! might be familiar with Brayden Smith. The five-time champion was among some of the last contestants to appear with the popular host Alex Trebek. Sadly, Smith passed away only weeks after appearing on the show. His family blames his unexpected death on medical malpractice.
The aftermath of a common surgery
The 24-year-old Jeopardy! champion suffered from ulcerative colitis. In Jan. 2021, he underwent colon removal surgery to address the symptoms associated with this disease. While this surgery is regularly performed for patients all across the United States who are suffering from this same disease, Smith died only three weeks after surgery. A lawsuit filed by his family highlights several examples of the alleged medical malpractice that contributed to his death:
- Doctors did not give Smith Heparin, which is used after these types of surgeries to prevent blood clots from developing in the lungs.
- Smith never received any proper training on how to care for himself or manage his condition after surgery.
- Smith was given the incorrect products necessary for care after his surgery, which led to broken bags and frequent leakage.
Smith died of a pulmonary embolus, which is blood clots in the lung. A medical expert cited in the lawsuit says that the professionals treating Smith did not adhere to the standard of care for this type of surgery and condition. That same expert believes that had Smith been given the proper medication and training, his death would have been unavoidable.
Patients who seek care for chronic and debilitating illnesses trust doctors to provide the correct and adequate treatment. Not all doctors in Delaware meet the standard of care when treating patients, though. When a doctor’s actions directly lead to negative patient outcomes or even death, holding him or her accountable via a medical malpractice claim is an effective way to protect future patients while also securing necessary compensation.