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Surgical error lands woman multi-million dollar settlement

Houston residents know that all surgeries have risks. Medical professionals are usually pretty thorough in explaining the risks to their patients. But when something out of the ordinary goes wrong during surgery, patients and their families wonder if the surgical error could have been prevented.

A woman in Connecticut recently won a multi-million dollar lawsuit after a surgeon erroneously perforated her colon during a routine surgery. In 2008, the woman had surgery for a hernia. During the surgery, a resident allegedly participated and accidentally punctured the patient's colon. The mistake wasn't realized until after the patient was out of surgery and she developed a major infection, went into septic shock, had a heart attack and experienced the beginning of organ failure. She wound up in a month-long coma, lost most of her large intestine and had multiple surgeries to try and fix the injury. The woman still cannot digest food properly and has problems with movement. She was awarded $12 million in compensation for the injuries that she suffered as a result of the mistake during surgery.

Most surgeries that are performed on patients, especially ones that are considered routine, go as planned without unexpected complications. However, when an error occurs, patients want to know what happened. A legal professional can help these families investigate what went wrong during the surgery. Compensation may be available for patients and their families who have suffered from negligence at the hands of their physician. It is important to hold physicians accountable for their mistakes so that no other patient is harmed by them.

Houston residents who have been affected by surgical errors know how much damage they can cause. Recovering from surgery often takes quite a bit of time, but if an error occurs, the damage caused to the patient can be irreversible. Holding these medical professionals accountable for their errors is important in making sure the patient and his or her family's needs are covered and that the physician doesn't harm anyone else.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Connecticut woman wins $12M in malpractice case," Dave Collins, May 30, 2014

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