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Tragic Examples of Preventable Medical Errors

When we seek out medical care, we trust that the professionals we are putting our trust in will do the right thing. After all, in order to get the positions they have, they had to complete years of education and training. Unfortunately, as a Virginia medical malpractice attorney can attest, far too often these professionals fail to do the right thing and patients end up with serious injury or illness, or even worse, they end up dead.

When a medical provider fails to adhere to professional standards, this is considered medical malpractice. Malpractice lawsuits can be filed against healthcare professionals, healthcare institutions, and healthcare services if it is suspected that they failed to provide the minimum standard of medical care to the patient.

According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, approximately 160,000 victims are killed every year because of medical errors. Unfortunately, many patients who suspect that the medical care they are receiving is not up to standards are afraid or intimidated to speak up. However, it can literally be a matter of life or death if you do not speak up.

The following are real-life examples of how routine procedures that turned into medical malpractice nightmares:

Wrong Side Surgery: A man was scheduled for a kidney transplant. Plaque had blocked the artery to his right kidney, so the new kidney was being placed on his left side. His sister had donated one of her kidneys for the procedure. However, the surgeon failed to look at the man’s medical chart before the procedure and instead of placing the kidney on the left side, he placed the new kidney on the damaged right side. The man was then placed back on the kidney transplant list, losing his lifestyle and career because of a completely avoidable and critical medical error by the surgeon.

Foreign Objects Left Behind: A woman underwent a biopsy for irregular breast tissue and after the procedure began experienced severe chest pain. She consulted with a new doctor who found that there was some type of foreign object in the tissue of her breast. She underwent another biopsy and two surgical sponges that the surgeon from the prior procedure had left inside her. As a response to the foreign objects, her body’s immune system began building tissue around the sponges in order to prevent damage.

 

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Contact a Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you have suffered an injury or have lost a loved one due to the negligence of medical personnel or facility, contact a compassionate Virginia malpractice attorney to discuss what your legal options may be. Our legal team has published two downloadable guides on this topic. The first guide discusses what steps to take if you or a loved one has been a victim of malpractice and the second guide discusses the most common surgical errors that occur.

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia