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Swapped newborns highlight long-term harm of medical malpractice

When people imagine medical malpractice, they may conjure up images of surgical mistakes or incorrect prescriptions. These immediate actions often result in consequences in the short term and pain in the long term.

However, medical malpractice may go unnoticed for years and a failure to diagnose may result in turmoil—physically, mentally or emotionally—once discovered. A curious example, as People reports, highlights the complex situation of two women in Oklahoma realizing their hospital swapped them between biological parents.

Two strangers and genetic testing

A pair of families brought together by strange circumstances are pursuing a medical malpractice claim against a long-since-closed hospital. One of the women involved submitted a DNA saliva test to and discovered she had no genetic match to the woman she thought was her biological mother.

After investigating, she found the family she had genetically matched with. A woman in that family agreed to send in a DNA test of her own and found she matched the mother instead.

An Oklahoma judge dismissed the case on account of the closed hospital and currently, open hospitals have no successive connection. It is unknown whether the women’s appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court will turn out with a different ruling.

Medical malpractice no matter when found

While swapped babies from closed-down hospitals is a presumably rare occurrence, it puts a spotlight on how medical malpractice affects people even decades after—even if it does not result in catastrophic damage.

For those realizing a medical error, even years after the fact, there is still time to recoup any damages from the mishap. Regardless of whether it is a failure to diagnose, a misdiagnosis or unwarranted procedures that resulted in preventable harm, there are options for a medical malpractice case.