Surgical-error medical malpractice is more common than one might think. No patient is immune, even if he or she has a trusted doctor. This is because surgery patients are at risk of serious challenges and long-lasting repercussions if any of the medical professionals who are responsible for their care are negligent and make even a minor surgical error.
A 42-year-old Ohio patient was the victim of just such a surgical error. She suffered chemical burns on her genitals during an ob-gyn procedure. The excision surgery was meant to remove low-grade lesions from her vulva back in January 2011. The woman was placed under general anesthesia during the procedure.
The doctor intended to apply a diluted acid to the surgical site in preparation for the surgery. However, for an unknown reason he applied a concentrated form of the chemical, one that was not diluted.
After the procedure, the woman suffered for many months while the burns healed. She now has permanent scarring and pain in her genital area, making sexual activity unpleasant. She also has been advised to seek further surgery to repair the damage that resulted from the surgical error.
The hospital where the error occurred recently settled the medical malpractice lawsuit she filed as a result of her injuries.
This surgery malpractice story shows just how dangerous it can be for patients when even a little mistake is made. The simple act of properly diluting acid seems like an easy mistake to make, but as this story shows, it can result in patients suffering painful personal injuries.
Source: Outpatient Surgery, "Ob-Gyn Patient Settles Chemical Burn Lawsuit for $600K," June 20, 2012