According to some statistics, only heart disease and cancer claim the lives of more Americans than medical errors, but Maryland patients may still be shocked to learn the details of some disturbing medical malpractice cases. A man having the wrong leg amputated is the punchline of several jokes, but this actually happened to a Florida man in 1995. The hospital and surgeon involved eventually paid the man more than a million dollars for their mistake.
Perhaps the most terrifying recent medical malpractice case involved a West Virginia man who took his own life in 2006 just two weeks after botched surgery left him traumatized. The man had been scheduled to undergo a routine abdominal operation, but an anesthesia mistake left him fully aware and able to feel pain as the surgical team went to work. Surgeons worked on the frantic man, who was not able to speak or move, for more than 15 minutes before the general anesthetic that he had been given finally began to have an effect.
Stories of sponges or surgical equipment being left inside operating room patients are not uncommon, but staff at an assisted living facility in Arizona had a hard time explaining how plastic bags, paper towels and unopened packets of ketchup found their way into the stomach of a patient. The man died shortly afterwards, and his wife was awarded $11 million by a jury after she files a lawsuit against the facility.
Lawsuits stemming from medical mistakes and surgical errorsoften feature defendants with deep pockets and and a strong legal team. Personal injury attorneys must establish that the care provided to the plaintiff failed to meet accepted medical standards, and they may call upon experts in the field when hospital records alone do not provide sufficient evidence.