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Woman awarded $6.1 million following surgical error

Most people in Pennsylvania likely understand that health care does not come with a guarantee of satisfaction. The complexity of the human body makes it nearly impossible for clinicians to be entirely confident in the outcome of any medical procedure. 

At the same time, however, patients do expect to receive competent treatment from doctors and surgeons. This is especially true when undergoing procedures most medical professionals would consider routine. When the complications following such a procedure exceed those that many might normally expect, then those suffering them might rightly question whether they resulted from errors on the part of their caretakers. 

Arbitrator’s findings lead to multi-million dollar medical malpractice award

Such was the claim made in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a woman in Mississippi. Per the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, she sought treatment from a local clinic for stomach issues. After an initial diagnosis of gastrointestinal issues, the woman received a second opinion from another of the clinic’s providers, who recommended that she have an exploratory endoscopic procedure. However, complications arose from the procedure that required an extended hospitalization (with multiple surgeries to treat a collapsed lung) and now force the woman to seek continuous treatment for potential organ failure. A subsequent lawsuit against the clinic resulted in her receiving a settlement of over $6 million. 

Compensation for surgical errors

Some might argue the point that given that clinicians may be subject to the same errors in judgment and execution possible with any type of professional, such errors warrant understanding. Yet given the short- and long-term impact of such issues, it may be reasonable that people hold doctors and surgeons to a higher standard. Part of that might include holding them accountable for their mistakes through a medical malpractice lawsuit.