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Jury says negligent surgeon is responsible for man's death

Many Illinois residents have suffered from post-operative complications, such as infections and bleeding. In most of those cases, the problems have been dealt with quickly and efficiently in order to ensure the patients' safety and recoveries. In the remainder of cases involving post-surgical complications, a negligent surgeon may have caused the patients' health to deteriorate to the point of serious, permanent damage or death.

A widow claimed that her husband's surgeon was negligent following a laser procedure on his enlarged prostate. Approximately one month later, during his post-operative recovery, he developed blood in his urine. His surgeon told him to go to the emergency room, and he was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 14, 2009.

At that time, personnel at the hospital advised the man's surgeon that he was a risk for a blood clot due to a condition called deep-vein thrombosis. Since the man required surgery, his surgeon did not order blood thinners, but he also did not order other treatment, such as walking or stockings to help prevent thrombosis. Instead, he was sedentary for the two days prior to his scheduled surgery.

When he was being moved in preparation for the procedure, a blood clot in his leg broke free and moved into his lung, which blocked his pulmonary artery. He died, and the cause of death was listed as pulmonary embolism. An Illinois jury agreed with his widow that the surgeon was negligent and awarded her $3.7 million.

Patients entrust their lives to surgeons every day. Even if a surgical procedure appears to go well, post-operative complications can develop. A negligent surgeon could fail to order the correct course of treatment and put the patient's life at risk. Even if a patient survives such errors, the damage may already be done, and the surgeon should be held responsible.

Source: bnd.com, "Jefferson County jury awards $3.7 million in medical-malpractice case", Beth Hundsdorfer, Oct. 2, 2015

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