More Often Than You’d Think – Story of Local Woman’s Struggle Sheds Light on Surgical Errors Statistics

Anyone who has been reading the news in New York lately has likely seen the story of a woman who has endured a shocking amount of suffering as a result of an alleged mistake that was made by doctors during what would otherwise be considered a routine medical procedure.  Allegations aside, what is not in dispute is that the woman reported to a hospital for a gynecological procedure, and during that procedure her colon was perforated.  This problem was not discovered immediately and it led to terrible consequences.

For instance, the woman suffered from blood poisoning and gangrene and nearly died soon after the surgery in 2009.  She suffered through three cardiac arrests while in the Intensive Care Unit after the initial surgery.  She suffered hearing loss because of the antibiotics that were used to combat the infections that had overtaken her.  Ultimately, her legs were amputated twice:  first at the ankle and then below the knee.  A link to her heartbreaking story can be found here.

The allegation that has led to the New York medical malpractice lawsuit at issue is that the doctors who were caring for the patient did not notice this small tear after the surgery.  Therefore, the problem was allowed to persist and it allegedly led to this result.  The defense has countered with the argument that a scan did not reveal the small tear and that this problem is one that is common with this type of a procedure.  The case is still ongoing.

We’re not going to attempt to argue the case from the sidelines, as we are not aware of all of the evidence that is available.  However, we would like to point out a few things that could be enormously important to others who face medical procedures, even those procedures that seem minor:

  1. Any mistakes made during any surgery can lead to dire consequences.
  2. Every surgical procedure comes with risk, including the risk that mistakes will be made.
  3. Even the smallest tears or injuries inflicted inside the body can explode into a disastrous situation.
  4. Proving negligence on the part of medical professionals is something that requires skill and experience.
  5. Surgical errors occur much more often than people realize.

The last point is the one that we hope people will come to understand fully.  We have been taught since we were children to expect the best of our doctors, and for good reason – most medical situations lead to positive outcomes.  A recent study that was done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University revealed that surgical errors occur approximately 4,000 times every year in the United States.  That should be a surprising number to most people.

We hope that justice is achieved in the case that is discussed above.  We also hope that anyone who has been harmed by substandard medical care stands up for their legal rights.  If this includes you or someone you love, contact the New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.