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Surgical errors are the basis of a $3 million jury verdict

Louisiana malpractice claims often include cases where surgeons have allegedly committed medical malpractice by not following proper surgical standards. When a surgeon commits surgical errors during routine surgery, and death of the patient occurs, that may be a tipoff to family members that their loved one may have been  a victim of medical malpractice. In such cases, an autopsy may be helpful in determining the nature of the negligence and the cause of death.

It is also important for the family to obtain the medical records detailing what the surgeon did, and what steps he or she took from beginning to end. A recent case involving allegations of surgical errors leading to the patient's death have been reported out of another state. A jury awarded the widower of a 64-year-old woman a $3 million verdict amidst charges that the surgeon punctured the victim's bowel during surgery for removal of a ovarian cyst.

The plaintiff also claimed that the doctor did not check the area for damage to the bowel prior to finishing the procedure. That left the patient with the deadly symptoms of a pierced bowel and the risk of severe infectious developments that could result in death. The lawsuit also claimed that the surgeon did not respond adequately when the patient called with symptoms after the surgery.

The jury's verdict implies that the surgeon should have looked for the damage to the bowel before closing up the incision. It also found that the surgeon should have taken steps to diagnose the patient after the surgery, based on symptoms she presented. Although representatives of the defendant continued to claim post-verdict that the medical services were performed without fault, the reported facts appear to indicate sufficient evidence of surgical errors. In Louisiana, a surgeon would generally be expected to check the area for damaged organs and bodily functions after performing surgery of this type, thus implicating negligence in the procedure itself, along with the later post-surgery failure to act properly under the circumstances.

Source: ajc.com, "DeKalb jury awards $3 million in medical malpractice case", Bill Rankin, Jan. 27, 2016

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