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Medical Malpractice During Routine Procedures Can Have Devastating Consequences

January 16, 2014

While most people assume that the risk of having their quality of life altered dramatically by medical malpractice is extremely rare, according to studies, approximately 200,000 people per year die because of medical mistakes and errors. Sometimes even relatively routine surgical procedures can result in serious complications and side effects when medical professionals deviate from the appropriate standard of medical care. A recent judgment for $6.7 million arising from complications of a hernia operation serve as a reminder of the way medical negligence can severely impact a patient’s quality of life.

A husband and wife recently received the judgment as the culmination of a ten year legal fight for complications suffered when a surgeon perforated a patient’s small intestine during a hernia surgery according to the Georgia website. The surgeon reportedly noticed that he had perforated the outer layer of the small intestine during the procedure but assumed the cut was not deep enough to cause leakage of the small intestine according to the report. The condition was not diagnosed by the surgeon until it was discovered several days later by another doctor who suggested the man might have an intestinal infection. The delay in diagnosing the infection occurred even though the patient’s condition deteriorated immediately after the surgical procedure.

The news report indicates that evidence introduced at the medical malpractice trial revealed that by the time the infection caused by the leakage was diagnosed, it had spread so that the patient was forced to endure six months in the hospital’s intensive care unit. The patient and wife contended during the lawsuit that the condition should have been diagnosed the night of the surgery because the patient began experiencing horrific pain hours after the surgery that drugs did not relieve. By the following morning, the patient also suffered from a fever and elevated pulse while his white blood cell count and urinary production declined.

The infection became so severe prior to another doctor’s suggestion that an intestinal infection might be the problem that the patient’s organs began failing which required placing him on a ventilator. After a follow-up surgery, he was in so much pain that his abdomen had to remain open for days to relieve the pressure. During his six month hospital stay in the intensive care unit, he developed bed sores and suffered contractions in his legs that resulted in their remaining permanently bent. The man remains confined to a wheelchair despite 2.5 years of physical therapy and three more surgeries.

This medical malpractice victim is not only confined to a wheelchair but also was forced to give up his 32 year career as a millworker. Because of his crippling injuries, his wife also gave up her job so that she could serve as a caretaker for her husband. While it may be natural to think of all doctors as competent professionals who almost never make medical errors, and while most doctors are extremely conscientious and want to do the best for their patients, this is just one example of the way the life of a malpractice victim and his or her family can be forever changed by substandard medical care.

If you or your loved one is injured or a family member dies because of negligence by a medical provider, our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.