While medical advances have the capacity to save lives, they may also cause serious harm or even death. Surgery, for example, has a long-standing history as a risky procedure. Early surgery methods frequently resulted in infection and blood loss that sometimes took the life of the patient. Experts have calculated that as high as 66% of all deaths in the Civil War, the deadliest conflict in American history, were not caused by conflict or fighting on the battlefield, but diseases and complications arising from surgery. Modern hospitals and surgeries are drastically more clean and safe compared to their historical counterparts, but disease and mistakes are still a very real problem, even in modern surgeries. A recent Stanford University study, in fact, revealed that hundreds of thousands of people die every year in America due to hospital errors. When a doctor’s negligence results in the death of a patient, their family and estate may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit for substantial money damages.
This was unfortunately the situation that a Boston family found itself in after one of their loved ones underwent surgery at a local hospital. The forty-seven-year-old father underwent invasive surgery because of his bladder cancer. The surgery was a success and removed more of the cancerous cells than doctors had hoped for, and things were beginning to look better for the man and his family. While in the hospital, however, the man developed an infection that caused him to develop a toxic mega-colon. Despite dozens of doctors and nurses checking in on the man after surgery, none of them made a note or comment about the growing infection. One week after the surgery, the man died as a result of his undiagnosed infection.
The man’s family brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital and doctors, alleging they negligently failed to diagnose his infection, which directly caused his death. During preparation for the trial, the family hired several experts to review the doctors’ conduct and actions to determine what was done improperly. The experts allegedly found that the man’s urologist failed to administer prophylactic antibiotics within 24 hours of his surgery, which is a required practice to prevent post-surgery infections. The experts were also reportedly willing to testify that multiple doctors failed to notice the warning signs of an infection that they should have been able to discover. According to masslawyersweekly.com, rather than go to trial, the hospital agreed to pay the man’s family $2.5 million for their involvement in his death.
Surgery and other medical procedures can be complicated, and things may get overlooked; but health care professionals are held to a high standard of care. This is because their mistakes can result in a serious injury, or as in this case, a wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a complication during surgery, you may be able to recover damages for your pain and suffering and other injuries. Please call our Boston medical malpractice attorney experts to learn more about your legal options at (617) 787-3700, or if you prefer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.