When we are in physical pain and go to the hospital for help, we like to feel confident that the doctors on staff know what needs to be done. Sadly, this is not always the case, and sometimes a doctor's decision -- or lack of one -- can result in serious life-altering injuries to patients.
In a recent medical negligence lawsuit, a 30-year-old woman who suffers from short gut syndrome claimed that if a surgeon had performed an operation in a more timely matter, she would not have had to have most of her small intestines removed. This in turn would mean that she would not feel weak, and would not have to rely on medications to give her body the nutrition she needs.
The case against the surgeon named in the lawsuit goes back to 2003 when the woman was admitted into the hospital with abdominal pain. Originally, the decision was made that surgery would need to be done the next morning. However, the same surgeon went back on this decision, and decided to cancel the surgery. That surgeon then left town for the weekend.
In the days that the surgeon was out of town the woman's condition worsened, and at one point doctors feared for her life. A second surgeon ended up being called in to do an emergency surgery. In the end, it was determined that the woman was suffering from ischemic bowel system, and most of her small intestine had to be removed.
In her medical malpractice lawsuit, the woman claimed that if the first surgeon had just performed the surgery in the first place, her entire bowel would not have essentially died, and she would have more of her intestine left.
In the end, a jury ended up agreeing with the woman, and she was awarded $1.5 million.
Source: Evening News and Tribune, "Jury awards $1.5 million in medical malpractice suit," Matt Thacker, Jan. 20, 2012