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New York medical malpractice claim supported by autopsy

There are always risks associated with medical treatment. Surgery is especially risky, as any cut to the body is inherently invasive. Still, patients are entitled to expect that New York physicians will take reasonable care and be responsive when it becomes clear that a patient's treatment has gone awry. When the medical establishment makes life-altering mistakes, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be necessary to achieve some sense of justice.

In early March, a woman went into St. Luke's Hospital for a fairly routine procedure, gastric bypass. The surgeon performing the procedure did not complete it because he found a tumor instead. He removed the tumor from her body and then closed her up. Unfortunately, in the process of removing the tumor, a perforation was likely caused.

When the woman was readmitted to the hospital for coughing up blood, they assessed her condition as being tied to a hernia that could be treated surgically and another surgery was performed. The woman felt fine after the second surgery, but her health deteriorated quickly. Shortly thereafter, she had sepsis and multiple organ failure. She died within days.

An autopsy determined that she died due to a perforation from the first surgery that was not fixed. Should they elect to do so, the victim's family may proceed with a New York medical malpractice claim. They, and others in similar circumstances, may benefit from an understanding of the applicable laws and procedures related to medical malpractice claims as they consider what action may be appropriate.

Source: New York Post, "Docs killed my mom: suit," Dan Mangan, March 19, 2013

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