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Woman claims failure to refer caused long-term health problems

| Feb 26, 2014 | Medical Malpractice |

Surgery is performed for many different reasons, under many different circumstances. Sometimes emergency surgery is necessary in order to save a life. At other times, surgery is performed to improve the quality of a person’s life or to improve his or her perceptions of him or herself. Regardless of the reason, those in North Carolina who have undergone surgery expect that a certain standard of care be met during and after the procedure. One woman claims that a doctor‘s failure to refer her to a wound specialist after undergoing elective surgery has led to long-term health problems, as well as the loss of her business.

The woman underwent abdominoplasty in June 2009. She claims that she soon began experiencing problems with pain and drainage. When she reported the issues to the doctor who performed the surgery, she claims that he cleaned the wound and prescribed pain medication and ointment. After the doctor determined that the wound was infected during a subsequent visit, the plaintiff claims that he declined to refer her to a wound specialist, even though she requested that he do so.

Approximately eight weeks after the surgery, the woman eventually reported to an emergency room where she was sent to a wound care clinic. The clinic determined that the woman was suffering from a staph infection. She claims that, as a result of the wound, her declining health caused her to lose her business. A jury recently awarded her $1.3 million. The doctor continues to assert that there was no medical malpractice involved, and he will appeal the court’s ruling.

While doctors have undergone a great deal of training, it is important that they recognize the limitations of their personal training and recognize the appropriate time to refer a patient to a specialist. This woman will likely face the consequences of this doctor’s failure to refer her to a wound care specialist for years to come. A person in North Carolina who has similarly suffered also has the option to seek legal recourse in a civil court. By presenting a successful claim, they could receive financial damages to help them with lost wages, medical expenses and other financial losses recognized by our laws.

Source: mlive.com, Jury awards Jackson woman $1.3 million in medical malpractice case, Danielle Salisbury, Feb. 21, 2014

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