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While no one wants to hear that he or she will have to undergo an operation, the news is undoubtedly far less disturbing for those patients whose surgical procedures are considered relatively minor by the medical community and whose physicians have significant experience. However, patients in these situations should still always remember an axiom from the investment world: past performance is no indication of future results.
In other words, just because a procedure is considered minor or a physician has performed it innumerable times, it is no guarantee that nothing will go wrong. The simple truth is that even the most experienced physician can still commit a grievous medical mistake directly attributable to overconfidence or negligence.
To illustrate, consider a recent case out of Alabama, where a married couple was recently awarded $6.7 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed nearly a decade ago over a botched surgical procedure to repair an abdominal hernia.
According to the lawsuit, which was originally filed in December 2003, a then-57-year-old man — we’ll call him Tom — entered the hospital on January 17, 2002, to undergo what was then his third hernia operation. During the course of the operation, the surgeon performing the operation noted that he had accidentally pierced the outer layer of Tom’s small intestine, but that he assumed the puncture was not deep enough to cause a leak or any other complications.
This proved to be far from the case, however, as Tom began experiencing abdominal pain just a few hours after the operation that was so strong that even the more potent pain medications could not alleviate it. Unfortunately, things only got worse from there, as Tom’s white blood cell count dropped, and he developed a high fever over the next few days.
By January 19, just two days after the surgery, Tom’s organs began to shut down and he was placed on a ventilator.
To be continued …
If a serious surgical error has resulted in a life-altering condition or cost you the unimaginable, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional here in Pennsylvania to learn more about your options for securing the justice and peace of mind you need and deserve.
Source: The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, “Jury awards Alabama couple $6.7 million in malpractice suit,” Tim Chitwood, Nov. 13, 2013