Medical Negligence

Those who Suffer due to Medical Negligence may be Entitled to Pursue Financial Compensation for Their Losses

There are certain types of health problems wherein doctors would recommend surgery, but only as the last form of treatment – if all other non-surgical forms of treatment do not work. Surgery is a complicated and risky medical procedure; but while many patients successfully go through it, others are just too weak to make it through the operation or a short while after the operation. There are cases, however, as shown through government and hospital records, when patients either suffer complications or never make it, not because they have weak bodies, but due, rather, to mistakes committed by those in charge of the surgical procedure.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, committing of errors during surgical procedures is just one of the many forms of medical mistakes which doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, hospitals and clinics are guilty of. Other items in the list of medical mistakes include, but are not limited to: misdiagnosis; failure to diagnose; delayed treatment; wrong medication; and birth injury. All these mistakes result either to new health problems or to the worsening of an existing illness, diminishing the quality of life of the patient.

In 2010, as reported by the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services, about 180,000 Medicare patients died due to medical mistakes. The actual figure, however, as printed in the Journal of Patient Safety, patient deaths (including those not covered by Medicare) fall between 210,000 and 440,000.

From the figures given above, surgical errors account for, at least, 4,000 cases each year. Specific cases of surgical error include:

  • Wrong-person surgery;
  • Incorrect surgical procedure;
  • Wrong-site surgery;
  • Improper suturing;
  • Accidental puncture or laceration;
  • Removal of wrong organ;
  • Foreign bodies left inside a patient’s body;
  • Wrong dosage of anesthesia;
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma;
  • Physiologic and metabolic derangement;
  • Wound dehiscence, a surgical complication wherein a wound ruptures along a surgical suture;
  • Pulmonary embolism; and,
  • Wrongful death due to complications from negligent surgery.

Medical mistakes, especially surgical error, happen more frequently than many others think. What is disturbing is that many of these are committed even by well trained and experienced surgeons and the best hospitals in the U.S. Take, for example, the case of a 70-year old patient who died after two surgeons mistakenly removed his wrong kidney; there are also reports of operating on the wrong side of a patient’s brain which happened three times within just a year, and all in the same hospital.

As explained by Madison personal injury attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, “When a patient visits a doctor for medical treatment, it is with the implicit understanding that his or her physician will provide the individual with the care and treatment expected of that medical profession. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are held to high standards, as even seemingly minor errors can have dramatic consequences on patients’ health and well-being. Unfortunately, not all doctors act as carefully and responsibly as they should, exposing their patients to the threat of serious illnesses or injuries. Because of the devastating repercussions that medical malpractice can have on a patient’s life, it is often possible for victims of negligence to receive compensation for their damages.”

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