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Surgical errors can cause health complications

When patients in New York hospitals go in for simple, routine procedures, they rarely think about the worst case scenario. Unfortunately, even the simplest surgery can turn into a tragedy because of surgical errors. One study found that medical errors kill over 200,000 people every year. As a result, tthe victims of these errors and their families are often forced to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the hospitals and surgeons responsible for these complications.
One healthy 13-year-old girl captured the nation’s attention when she was declared brain dead after a routine tonsillectomy. The girl seemed normal when she came out of surgery, but soon she was bleeding from her nose and mouth. She then went into cardiac arrest and was determined to be brain dead. Doctors plan to take her off life support but the girl’s parents want some more time and are fighting this decision.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, tonsillectomies rank third on the list of most common surgical procedures performed on children. However, even the most common procedures are not completely safe. Experts say that complications are very rare, but that the most common post-surgery complications include bleeding, infection and tissue damage. According to a 2003 study, bleeding was present in about 3 percent of tonsillectomy patients. Patients with pre-existing conditions relating to the heart, lung or liver are more likely to experience these complications.
Patients should be aware of the risks of surgery and make educated decisions as to whether they actually need to go under the knife. But if they decide to have surgery and a surgeon makes an error, the patient and their families may be able to recover damages for their suffering.

Author

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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