When you place your life in the hands of a doctor, you trust that the doctor has trained for many years with the express motivation of "do no harm". Any malpractice is bad, and you will often hear about cases where sponges or instruments were left behind during surgery, or cases of operating on the wrong body part. Some cases, however, go beyond the norm and make headlines, causing anyone contemplating surgery to be wary enough to have a medical malpractice attorney on standby if planning a surgery.
Catching on fire on the operating table. This is rare but it does happen. A woman having surgery in Tennessee died six days after a flash fire occurred in the operating room while she was undergoing surgery. These fires are caused by oxygen building up in the surgical drapes coming into contact with electrical surgical tools.
Major organ transplant from the wrong blood type. This sad story concerns a 17 year old who was undergoing a double transplant, both heart and lungs, a serious undertaking with plenty of complications possible even in the best case scenario. Unfortunately, the patient needed organs that were compatible with her blood type O positive, and she was given A type organs. When the mistake was discovered, a second transplant was done after the organs became available, but the teen died shortly after the second surgery
Entire jaw removed for no reason. A woman in New Zealand was told she had mouth cancer and that her jaw from chin to ear would need to be removed. It turns out that the lab got the samples mixed up and she never had cancer. Now, she not only has a disfigured face, but the has problems walking since doctors used tissue from her leg to do the jaw reconstruction, which became infected.
Waking up during surgery is referred to anesthesia awareness and affects an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 people every year. In these cases, patients are aware of everything happening during surgery, but cannot move due to the paralyzing effects of anesthesia and cannot cry out due to the breathing tubes in the throat. This is usually caused by the anesthesiologist not using enough anesthesia.
These cases are extreme and in some cases quite rare, but medical doctors and facilities are fallible, and when they do fail, you have some recourse in the judicial system. See a medical malpractice attorney for more information. To learn more, visit R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C.