Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



New York pregnant woman burned during surgery

Not all pregnancies go as planned. Sometimes doctors have to schedule a cesarean section surgery to deliver the baby and sometimes these surgeries are completely unplanned and last-minute. Either way, the procedure is a surgery and doctors and nurses need to follow the same standard of care as expected in all operating rooms in order to avoid surgical errors.
One New York mother experienced a horrific scene and aftermath during her cesarean delivery. She suffered a seven-inch burn along her side as the result of being set fire during surgery. Apparently an alcohol-based antiseptic was used on her skin and this material ignited by a device being used during the surgery.
Luckily the baby was unharmed and the medical staff put out the fire quickly. The mother brought a lawsuit to help recover for her injuries. The woman was able to reach a settlement with the hospital outside of court but she was not so lucky inside the courtroom. A jury rejected her negligence claim and her doctor was cleared of negligence related to the incident.
The woman described how she smelled the burning but didn’t recognize what was happening. She was dazed from the anesthetic but remembers being told not to worry about the burning.
The hospital took responsibility for the fire but never admitted negligence. The doctor took the stand during his trial and said that the incident was simply part of the inherent risks of surgery.
As far as surgical fires go, they do happen every now and then. In this case, the antiseptic used had not evaporated in time and therefore caused the fire.
Although the jury in this case found that the doctor was not negligent, the woman was still able to recover by bringing suit against the hospital. Patients injured because of negligence or recklessness on the part of a hospital or any medical professional may be able to recover damages for their loss in the form of added medical expenses and for emotional suffering.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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