Multi-Million Dollar Settlement from Negligent Hospital for Man Harmed by Surgical Errors
Although medical science has reached startling levels of precision and possibility, surgery remains a risky endeavor. Operating on the body means creating a new wound, interacting with vital organs, and leaving as small of a footprint afterward. For many medical malpractice victims, it is the last step that causes the most dangerous problems.
Because doctors are so well trained and many daring procedures are now routine, a surprising number of complications from surgery derive from errors that are so strange they would be humorous if not for their harmful effects. Take the case of a man who recently settled a case for injuries after a gall bladder surgery. The man was placed under surgical anesthesia and the operation began. Days after he left the hospital, he was rushed back in pain and a subsequent CT scan revealed that 1) his gall bladder had not been removed as planned and 2) a surgical sponge had been left in his abdominal cavity.
The first error is hard to explain, given that the surgery failed to accomplish its one goal. And the second mistake sounds like a punchline, until you think about it more. Surgical sponges are used to clean up the incision areas and other “work spaces”; thus they harbor all the bacteria and contaminants that are supposed to be kept out of the sterile surgical space. Leaving a germ-infested object in the body is a big no-no — the man is lucky that his body alerted him (albeit painfully) to the mistake before a full-blown infection took hold. Abandoning foreign objects in the surgical space is, strangely enough, a very common form of surgical error.
From a legal standpoint, this case is an interesting one. The patient worked with personal injury lawyers who advised him to sue both the lead doctor in the surgery as well as the hospital itself. Both entities were accused of negligence resulting in the man’s injuries, which were serious and which required follow-up procedures to correct. The surgeon had left an extensive paper trail that showed, among other things, that he had consulted multiple times with his nurses to ensure that no sponges or other materials were unaccounted for after the surgery concluded. The surgeon was ultimately cleared of the charges of negligence because he had demonstrated care in his actions, but the hospital was found responsible for allowing multiple double-checks and protocols fail. The man was awarded $4 million in damages.
As you can see, identifying that you have been a victim of medical malpractice is only the first step. If you or your family have suffered from harm due to a medical error, you need an experienced malpractice attorney in your corner. We have experience working with Southern Nevada malpractice clients, and we have a record of winning large settlements for our clients. Call us today for a free consultation to learn what our team of Las Vegas personal injury lawyers can do for you.