Jury says surgeon and hospital are guilty of medical negligence

| Jan 15, 2020 | medical negligence

When a medical patient in Montana or elsewhere undergoes surgery, he or she entrusts his or her medical well-being to a team of skilled professionals, including a surgeon (or surgeons), nurses, surgical technicians and others. Especially if the procedure in question involves the patient being fully unconscious at the time, he or she is unaware of what is happening in the operating room during the surgery. If medical negligence occurs, it is often only later, during recovery, that a patient will become aware of it.

One of the most common types of surgical errors that occur in the United States is leaving foreign objects inside the bodies of patients. Such items might include a surgical instrument, gauze or other objects. There are strict procedures regarding keeping track of every instrument and item used during a surgery; if the medical team follows the procedure, the likelihood of a surgeon mistakenly leaving an item inside the body of a patient is small.

In another state, however, a jury recently found a surgeon and hospital guilty of medical negligence. The plaintiff in the case was a woman who had been admitted to the hospital in question several years prior to have heart bypass surgery. During the operation, the surgeon accidentally severed a vein and reportedly used a surgical sponge to soak up the blood. The only problem with that is that the sponge was left inside the woman’s abdomen for six years, and she ultimately suffered leg amputation because of it.

The jury awarded the woman more than $10 million for damages. Medical negligence incidents like this one are typically easily preventable because members of a surgical team are supposed to count and re-count sponges used in order to make sure none are accidentally left inside a patient. Any person in Montana who wishes to discuss possible evidence for filing a medical negligence claim can request a meeting with an experienced personal injury law attorney to do so.

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