When a normally routine surgical procedure results in a fatal injury, the patient's family might legitimately wonder if the quality of care provided by the doctor or hospital is at fault. Though every medical procedure, especially those that are invasive, carries some amount of risk, that risk can be mitigated by following recognized standards of care. If a patient dies as a result of a surgical error, the family can pursue a civil claim against the hospital, doctors or other responsible parties.
The ramifications of medical errors can be tremendous, and surgical errors are particularly likely to have severe effects such as brain injury or paralysis. A patient may need long-term care after a surgical mistake -- sometimes for the rest of the patient's life. When Arizona residents are injured because of a surgical error, it may be necessary to sue for the funds to pay for the patient's ongoing medical care.
On occasion, a doctor may misdiagnose a disease or condition. In some cases, the misdiagnosis can include a serious element of failure to diagnose, such as a failure to diagnose cancer. This blog has previously discussed the issue of failure to diagnose. But a recent settlement ended a protracted battle in court just days before the evidence was to be presented in trial over an alleged misdiagnosis that involved a potentially life-threatening disease that the patient did not have.
Seven years ago, a 44-year-old woman went to the doctor because she was suffering from vomiting, cramping, diarrhea and other symptoms. Doctors looked at her age and diagnosed her with the flu. The medical professionals did not conduct any tests of the woman to determine whether or not she had colorectal cancer, essentially because of her age. The doctors reportedly thought the woman was too young for that type of cancer.
A man who has no health insurance needed hernia surgery. He went to a doctor who reportedly scheduled the surgery on an outpatient basis. The hernia patient paid cash and sought to have the hernia repair, in what the doctor expected to be about a one-hour procedure.