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Doctors, Botched Surgeries & Malpractice

Medical Malpractice is something that people fear because they would like to believe that the doctors or surgeons are reliable professionals in their fields. Unfortunately, there has been many cases where people have had impaired medical professionals, unprepared surgeons, doctors who perform the wrong surgery, a medical team without proper sterilization, doctors that leave objects inside of patients or inadequate post-surgery care. All of these situations are extremely stressful and painful for the victims and can turn into lawsuits to compensate for their losses. However, just recently, this relationship between patient and medical professional was tested even further because of one bad apple that made every single one of those mistakes over the course of a few months. Christopher Duntsch is accused of knowingly botching at least five surgeries.

The Background

Almost like a story replicated by Hollywood, Christopher Duntsch “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly” botched the procedures because he was “ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that [he] mixes with everything else; that he is to become a cold blooded killer.” Once of his victims, Jeffrey Glidewell and his wife are suing the former Dallas neurosurgeon over a June 10, 2013, surgery in which medical staff, horrified by Duntsch’s errors, forced him to stop operating, according to a police affidavit. Duntsch left a surgical sponge in Glidewell’s body, which got infected. In addition to Glidewell, Duntsch is accused of one death and four injuries in Dallas that are all due to his practice. However, there are more charges stemming from the death of another former patient and the injuring of 10 others [1].

This is an extreme example of one bad surgeon. That doesn’t mean that all other surgeries are not as detrimental, but in most cases the doctor doesn’t intentionally hurt the patient. If you’re concerned about being the victim of a botched surgery, here are some legal questions you should be aware of:

Questions To Ask

  • Isn’t It Obviously the Hospital or Doctor’s Fault?– Sometimes the surgeries can be easily preventable such as the case when surgeons leave behind medical instruments and tools or when they operate on the wrong side of the body. However, it’s not always this clear cut.
  • Do You Need an Expert Witness?– In complex cases involving more technical errors or distinctions, a valid expert may be needed to explain how the surgery was due to a doctor’s negligence.
  • How Do You Get Access to Medical Records?– You can get your information by issuing a subpoena or discovery that is first reviewed by a judge.

Typical Malpractice Lawsuits

Forty percent of all Medical Malpractice Claims are comprised of failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis claims. Recent medical advancements in disease detection and treatment mean that the failure to diagnose a medical condition could most certainly impact the result of treatment or whether treatment will be an option.

A failure to diagnose can occur in many ways: It can occur via improper conducting of a physical examination, failing to perform regular screenings in high-risk patients, misinterpreting test results, missing potential indications of a problem, failing to order appropriate tests when they are indicated, or failing to refer a patient. Commonly, medical providers fail to document a differential diagnosis at the first visit in more than 80% of misdiagnosis cases.

Regardless of the cause of a failure to diagnose or misdiagnose, innocent people can suffer very serious harm as a result, such as medical complications, the need for more expensive or aggressive treatments, permanent bodily injury, decreased survival rates, shortened life spans, or death. Heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and colon cancer are among the most common diseases that doctors can fail to diagnose [2].

Unfortunately, medical mistakes are now estimated to kill up to 440,000 people in U.S. hospitals each year, making preventable errors the third leading cause of death in American behind heart disease and cancer. Wrong doses, undetected tumors, objects left behind in patients’ bodies and missed or late diagnosis are just some of the errors that are an “everyday occurrence” in the medical community [3].

Contact a Florida medical malpractice lawyer today to schedule a free consultation

People who have been injured by the negligence of a medical practitioner are regularly entitled to substantial monetary compensation. In numerous cases, the difficulties associated with medical malpractice can be tremendously serious, so it vital that victims ensure that their legal rights are sheltered by retaining an advocate who has a history of success litigating medical malpractice claims. The attorneys of the Dolman Law Group are accomplished Clearwater medical malpractice lawyers who know how to acquire the compensation our clients deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765