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Post-surgical errors can lead to debilitating infections

One of the primary risks associated with nearly every operation is the risk of infection. Monitoring a patient after a surgical procedure is crucial in order to eliminate this risk, or at least identify an infection early so that it can be dealt with and not cause any additional harm to the patient. Post-surgical errors that fail to protect an Oregon patient from debilitating infections could cause severe injuries or even death.

For example, an out-of-state woman lost her arms and legs due to a post-operative infection. She underwent an elective hysterectomy in Dec. 2013. The procedure was considered to be routine, and the operation itself appeared to be a success. However, a lawsuit filed in connection with the amputations claims that her post-operative care was severely lacking.

According to the Michigan woman, she began exhibiting symptoms of an infection before she even left the hospital after the surgery. Two days later, she was not urinating much and called her doctor, who allegedly dismissed her concerns. Four days after the surgery, her symptoms had grown worse. Despite five calls to the doctor from her husband over the weekend, she was not scheduled to be seen by the doctor until the following Monday.

Six days after the operation, she was in the emergency room, where it was discovered that she was in septic shock that required harsh medications that drew the blood from her limbs to protect her organs. Due to the extreme measures required to save her life, her limbs had to be amputated. She will require assistance and care for the rest of her life.

The lawsuit claims that post-surgical errors made by her doctor led to her current condition. As would be the case here in Oregon, if the court rules that the care this woman received did not meet current care standards, she could be awarded damages to help with the expenses and other damages incurred as a result. It should be noted that medical malpractice cases are often complex. Therefore, it would not be advisable to go through the process alone.

Source:, "Woman who lost arms, legs after surgery sues Spectrum Health, doctor", John Agar, Sept. 7, 2016

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