Colon polyps are a very common diagnosis for adults. Most of the time, they are benign growths and are usually removed during a colonoscopy. Sometimes, however, they have to be removed surgically. Although polyp removal is a very common surgery in Oregon, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. A woman in another state died after surgical errors during a polyp removal procedure.
In Nov. 2011, a 43-year-old woman went into surgery for removal of benign polyps in her colon. Following the surgery the woman was in pain so excruciating that the strongest painkillers were not able to give her relief. After four days of suffering, her doctor finally ordered a CAT scan, which revealed she had a severe infection. The colorectal surgeon had unknowingly accidentally burned a portion of her small bowel during the polyp removal surgery, and this caused a horrible infection that ravaged her body. Before she could be taken back for corrective surgery, the mother of three went into septic shock and died.
The woman’s husband, a policeman, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon in 2012. The lawsuit claimed that the surgeon was negligent both in burning the woman’s bowel during the surgery and in dismissing her pain following surgery for four days before ordering a CAT scan. If the infection had been detected sooner, perhaps she would have been able to recover.
Recently, a jury took less than a day to find the surgeon negligent. The victim’s family was awarded $13 million damages. Each of the couple’s three teenage children received $3 million, and the husband received the rest.
Although it doesn’t undo what happened or right the wrongs that were done, this verdict will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the lives of the woman’s family. When a doctor makes surgical errors, a medical malpractice lawsuit can help the victim or the victim’s family achieve financial relief to help offset the economic burden they experience as a result. An experienced Oregon attorney can help the victim or the victim’s family file the lawsuit and can guide them through the process, easing the burden and helping their chances of a positive outcome.