Imagine this scenario: your wife goes into the hospital for liposuction because she wants to keep her girlish figure. Instead of coming out looking younger and slimmer, she dies because of the surgery. This nightmare was a reality for a young family with three small children.
A seemingly innocent “tummy tuck” procedure was performed by cosmetic surgeons in 2015. It went well, and in early 2016, the same woman elected to have “bilateral liposuction of the upper extremities” – a surgical procedure to remove fat from the upper arms. That surgery was uneventful. However, the patient experienced significant pain and tenderness over the course of several days post-operation. She was prescribed antibiotics, but nothing else was done at the time. Days later, on March 2, 2016, she had fluid drained from the surgical site. Later that same day she was admitted to an emergency room. Treating physicians discovered a soft-tissue infection, which spread. The patient developed sepsis, and then passed away.
A plastic surgeon who reviewed her reports stated in the lawsuit’s affidavit, “It is my opinion within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that defendants … failed to heed and diagnose, in a timely fashion, the post-operative clinical problems that the patient was manifesting.”
The Question of Medical Malpractice
The question is, did the surgeons fail to recognize or properly treat the infection in a timely fashion? Could the patient have been saved?
Obviously, this is a tragic case. Nevertheless, if a “reasonable” standard of care was followed, the jury may find that there was no malpractice.
In order for a claim to be successful, it is not enough to show that there was harm. There has to be proof that the medical professionals failed to provide appropriate care that another reasonable professional in the same field would, in the same situation.
If you, your wife, or your partner has suffered such a surgical mishap, there may be compensation available through a medical malpractice claim. Contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari at (973) 635-5400 if you have questions. Your consultation is free.