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Patient's death blamed on alleged medical mistake

Medical mistakes can happen during any medical procedure. Houston residents should be aware of the risks before consenting to any procedure. A loss of a loved one at the hands of a negligent medical professional is devastating to families, but wrongful death lawsuits can help families recover costs for overwhelming expenses.

One man from the Pacific Northwest is dead because of an alleged mistake by an anesthesiologist during surgery. While in routine surgery for a kidney stone, the anesthetist had problems intubating the patient. When the tube was removed, his airway collapsed, causing oxygen deprivation. When he was resuscitated over 90 minutes later, he had suffered irreversible brain damage.

His family made the difficult and painful decision to remove him life support a few days after the botched surgery. They are now arguing that due to the anesthetist not using proper care when removing the tube, the patient's airway collapsed. The family has filed a wrongful death action against the doctor, seeking compensation for their loss as a result of his negligence.

Of course, while no amount of money can compensate a family for a loved one's death, it is important to hold medical professionals responsible for negligence. In order for a wrongful death lawsuit to proceed, a death must have occurred; the death must be caused by another person's negligence; surviving family members suffer monetary loss and the patient's estate must have a representative. In the above case, the victim also left behind three children. Children are financially dependent on their parents and the costs of their care and upbringing may be taken into consideration in any award made pursuant to a wrongful death claim.

Houston residents mourning a family member lost due to a medical mistake may find a legal professional helpful in evaluating their situation. While nothing can bring back a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can help protect the family in this time of overwhelming grief.

Source: The Spokesman-Review, "Trial begins in wrongful death suit," Jennifer Pignolet, June 11, 2013

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