Unintended puncture leads to a malpractice suit and jury award

| Jun 28, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

A wrongful death caused by a physician’s negligence may require legal action to help a surviving family move forward. If an individual dies from an unintended cut or puncture occurring during surgery, holding a doctor and hospital liable may help bring a family a sense of closure.

According to the American College of Surgeons, medical professionals may cause unintentional lacerations, cuts, perforations and punctures during surgery. Failing to prevent or document a mistake or unintentional event may reflect medical malpractice.

Documenting errors made during surgery may help prevent further harm

Hospitals and their staff owe a duty of care to protect patients from accidental injuries and death. If an unintended cut or puncture occurs during surgery, documenting it could prevent complications from developing.

Post-op staff treating a patient require information regarding adverse surgical incidents to help them identify symptoms of a resulting illness or injury. The discovery of those symptoms may allow doctors to prescribe medication or repair a damaged organ.

Holding hospital and staff responsible results in a $3 million award

As reported by The Gainesville Times, the wrongful death of a 42-year-old Georgia woman resulted from an accidental piercing of her small intestine during a surgical procedure. A representative of her estate and two surviving adult children filed a lawsuit against the hospital group and surgeon.

The jury found the hospital’s staff dismissed her complaints of intense abdominal pain and other symptoms made during an ER visit less than a day after her release. The family also phoned the hospital seeking medical care, which the staff failed to document. The jury decided on a $3 million award.

Preventing, managing and documenting adverse events falls under the responsibility of the surgeon and other staff members treating a patient. Legal action may prove a liability when harm or wrongful death results from a breach of care.