The only reason many medical procedures can be considered minor is because surgeons have performed them thousands of times. No matter how comfortable a doctor may be diagnosing and/or treating an ailment, however, every case must be considered unique and with care. Physicians at one Long Island, New York, hospital are facing a medical malpractice lawsuit for allegedly making serious mistakes that ultimately risked a woman’s life and left her permanently disabled.
The incident at the heart of the case occurred in October 2009, when the woman identified as the victim in her medical malpractice lawsuit underwent surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy. The woman, who is also a mother of a teenage daughter, was allegedly discharged from the hospital following the procedure despite the fact that she was still in distress. Shortly after returning home, the woman was readmitted to the hospital and required emergency surgery.
According to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, the woman awoke weeks later in the hospital to learn that both of her legs were amputated because of severe sepsis and gangrene she apparently developed after the initial laparoscopic procedure. The woman accuses attending physicians of failing to recognize and treat the infection that escalated into a life-threatening medical situation. The infection was allegedly caused by a puncture to the woman’s colon, which experts testifying on behalf of the plaintiff claim was a preventable medical complication of the first procedure.
In addition to having both of her legs amputated below the knees, the woman suffered scarring to her face, chest and abdomen. She also sustained hearing loss from the medications required to treat the infection. The plaintiff claims that she now suffers from mobility issues and can no longer care for her child as she once did.
Source: New York Daily News, “EXCLUSIVE: Hospital victim says procedure led to legs being amputated: ‘It was a sharp, driving pain. And it kept getting worse,’” Oren Yaniv, Dec. 4, 2013