Any surgical procedure inherently carries certain risks, so it is not necessarily uncommon for patients to experience post-surgical side effects. However, when those side effects are not treated properly, this type of surgical medical negligence can result in complications and poor results.
A recent Cook County medical malpractice verdict demonstrates the importance of a timely response to surgical complications in order to avoid Cook County medical negligence, Lovell v. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, No. 4-09-0249. The facts of the case involve a Cook County resident with prostate cancer who underwent a radical retropubic prostatectomy at a local Illinois hospital.
Following the surgical procedure, the patient complained of a “bloated, constipated feeling” four days after surgery. His family physician ordered a tap-water enema to try and relieve the bloating feeling. Soon after, the urologist whom performed the original surgery resolved that the plaintiff had a fistula that had been caused by the enema. A fistula is essentially an opening that develops between two organs or vessels that do not normally connect.
Soon thereafter the plaintiff was subjected to another surgical procedure to repair the fistula that had developed as a result of the prescribed enema. However, the man later had two additional surgeries- one to reverse his colostomy and another to attempt to correct his urinary incontinence. Yet despite the additional surgical procedures the cancer patient could not urinate properly and was required to wear diapers.
In an effort to seek some justice for his pain and suffering as a result of the Cook County medical malpractice, the plaintiff filed suit against the health care center, claiming that the three subsequent surgeries were the cause of his current medical problems. At trial the plaintiff presented expert testimony from a colorectal surgeon and urologist who affirmed that the enema was the cause of his the fistula and subsequent incontinence.
After the jury considered the evidence, it returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. Although an appeal was filed on behalf of the defendant, the Illinois Appellate Court rejected it and the verdict was affirmed. And while the plaintiff might have succeeded in his case against the health care center, he is left with life-changing complications as a result of the Cook County medical negligence following his surgery.
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