$2.5 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict Brings to Light Risks of Routine Procedures

December 16, 2011

In light of a recent jury verdict, Illinois medical malpractice attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are warning of the risks of seemingly routine medical procedures. Last week Amy Garcia, a resident of Southfield, Michigan, was awarded $2.5 million dollars against St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after she endured a severe injury stemming from a routine surgery.

As reported in the Ann Arbor Journal, Ms. Garcia suffered a miscarriage in 2007, which resulted in the loss of her 14-week old fetus. After the miscarriage, Dr. Norman Gove, an obstetrician and gynecologist, explained to Ms. Garcia that she needed to undergo a dilation and curettage procedure. This procedure is commonly required after a woman miscarries a child. Dr. Gove, told her that this was a standard surgery and that "the procedure would be quick," and that Ms. Garcia would "be home by lunch."

Without Ms. Garcia's knowledge or consent, an unsupervised resident physician of the hospital performed the procedure which resulted in permanent bodily damage. The resident began by dilating the cervix and then perforated the uterus. The resident accidently inserted ring forceps through the perforated uterus in an effort to remove the fetal remains. Instead of removing the necessary tissue, the resident grabbed a piece of bowel which snapped back, causing a tear to the bowel and rectum.

As a result of the mistake, Ms. Garcia required an ileostomy to create an opening to pass intestinal waste to a bag worn outside the body. In addition to wearing the bag for three months, Ms. Garcia lost part of her bowel and rectum, which has resulted in severe pain, altered bowel patterns and scarring. While no amount of money can ever compensate the pain and disruption of daily life Ms. Garcia has endured, the verdict helps to raise awareness of the dangers of all procedures.

All patients are entitled to a good standard of practice and care from their doctors. Moreover, it is the duty of all physicians to provide competent and professional medical care to their patients. While most of the time physicians and their medical teams perform their job properly and without incident, there are the unfortunate instances when a doctor or team member fails and a complication arises. A surgical error typically results in a preventable injury, whether it be minor or severe.

Cases such as Ms. Garcia's demonstrate the devastation of an avoidable injury. Shockingly, in recent years, these types of cases are becoming commonplace in the medical malpractice field. Since patients are less concerned when they believe an operation is routine, they are less likely to pose serious questions to their physician. Chicago malpractice attorneys at Pintas and Mullins Law Firm recommend that people be diligent when it comes to both serious and common surgeries so that they are aware of the possible complications and side effects. Even minor procedures may carry serious complications. If an injury is the result of an error during surgery, there are legal remedies available to help not only the injured person, but also the family members of the victim.

All patients are entitled to a good standard of practice and care from their doctors. Moreover, it is the duty of all physicians to provide competent and professional medical care to their patients. While most of the time physicians and their medical teams perform their job properly and without incident, there are the unfortunate instances when a doctor or team member fails and a complication arises. A surgical error typically results in a preventable injury, whether it be minor or severe.

Cases such as Ms. Garcia's demonstrate the devastation of an avoidable injury. Shockingly, in recent years, these types of cases are becoming commonplace in the medical malpractice field. Since patients are less concerned when they believe an operation is routine, they are less likely to pose serious questions to their physician. Chicago malpractice attorneys at Pintas and Mullins Law Firm recommend that people be diligent when it comes to both serious and common surgeries so that they are aware of the possible complications and side effects. Even minor procedures may carry serious complications. If an injury is the result of an error during surgery, there are legal remedies available to help not only the injured person, but also the family members of the victim.