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Simple post-surgical procedures led to death for one man

| Aug 21, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

A Georgia woman has filed a lawsuit against a large, local hospital alleging malpractice in the facility’s care of her husband. In May, a gentleman fell off a ladder and fractured a vertebra in his back.  He underwent surgery on May 4. After the surgery, doctors placed a catheter in the man’s bladder to deal with suspected urinary retention. According to the lawsuit, the catheter was misplaced and drained “enormous” amounts of chyle fluid from the area, which allegedly led to infection, sepsis, organ failure and death.

The patient’s wife alleges that health care providers at the hospital failed to administer her husband’s heart medication, which may have led to an irregular heartbeat and a greater susceptibility to infection. Moreover, she alleges that physicians failed to confirm the placement of the catheter by ordering appropriate imaging.

The patient was a vibrant, active senior, an Army veteran, who loved to travel with his wife and daughters, enjoyed gardening and doing home renovation projects around the house. He died a slow, painful and utterly unnecessary death, said the plaintiff’s lead attorney.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for medical costs and for economic, physical and emotional injuries.

We can’t yet know the facts in this lawsuit, but what we do know is that malpractice in circumstances like this lawsuit happen too often.

What constitutes medical malpractice?

It’s important to realize that not every bad outcome is an example of medical malpractice.  Many medical treatments, including surgery, are inherently risky. You and your doctor should discuss the risks so you can make a knowledgeable decision about surgery.

Medical malpractice occurs when a bad medical outcome is caused by negligence. That negligence can be attributed to a doctor, a nurse or anyone on the care team. It can also be attributed to the hospital or facility, depending on the circumstances.

Negligence in medical cases is essentially defined as failing to meet the generally accepted standards of care in the situation.

Studies have estimated that medical negligence kills approximately 200,000 people every year.  It is considered the third most common cause of death in the U.S., according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.)

It can happen at any point in your treatment.  Any time it happens, medical malpractice can result in devastating tragedy.  People can take legal action when they are harmed because of healthcare negligence.