While there are risks with any surgical procedure, one thing most patients don’t expect is an error by a member of their medical team that harms their well-being.
A pair of siblings in Winston-Salem recently filed a lawsuit against Wake Forest University Health Sciences and North Carolina Baptist Hospital, alleging that a doctor error killed their father. The brother and sister say that their 60-year-old father was admitted to the hospital in June 2011 and diagnosed with hypotension, bacterial pneumonia and possible septic shock. He began to improve while in the intensive care unit, and surgery was performed to repair a gastric perforation.
After the surgery was completed without complications, the siblings' claim states, the anesthesiologist mistakenly administered the wrong drug while attempting to reverse the anesthesia that was required for the operation. The doctor reportedly recognized her mistake after nearly an hour and alerted the surgical team but made no attempt to reverse the error through the use of Narcan.
The man was later diagnosed with respiratory and organ failure and died eight days after the surgery and the doctor's error. The doctor admitted to the family that she had made the mistake. The family is seeking more than $10,000 in damages due to the negligence of the hospital and the Wake Forest University Health Sciences.
A doctor error can make a bad situation worse, sometimes leaving an individual who was already sick to also face complications from the mistake. Unfortunately, medication errors are one type of post-surgical error that can lead to the wrongful death of a patient. In such cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit can help a family obtain compensation while holding a negligent doctor accountable.
Source: The Dispatch, "Siblings file medical malpractice suit over death of father," Darrick Ignasiak, June 20, 2013