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Hospital malpractice leads to a year of suffering for Ohio woman

The consequences of hospital errors can be devastating for patients. And perhaps few have suffered more from hospital mistakes than one Ohio woman whose ordeal began with a colonoscopy in August 2010. The procedure was supposed to be routine -- a simple outpatient colonoscopy scheduled with a clinic specialist in Westlake by her primary care physician. But the day after the medical procedure, the woman fell ill while at work and had to be picked up by her husband. Her condition became progressively worse, and she was rushed to the Cleveland Clinic -- affiliated Lakewood Hospital, where she was wheeled into emergency surgery.

As the medical staff worked to save the woman's life, they discovered that her colon had been perforated. Over the next several hours, the medical team worked to repair the. But this was not the end of her tribulations. The woman spent three additional weeks in ICU in a medically induced coma. After she finally awoke, she endured months of therapy to regain and perform the most basic bodily functions.

In March 2011, the Lakewood doctors tried to reverse the woman's colostomy, but had to postpone the procedure due to complications. The reversal was attempted again in June, and the five hour operation seemed to produce positive results. The woman spent a week in the hospital, spent additional time in the nursing center, and was put on a steady diet of medications. But her last operation did not completely restore her health, and every day she must fight to return to normalcy.

This woman's life has been drastically changed by hospital malpractice. To be sure, the Ohio woman's case is complex: there are many factors that may have contributed to her pain and suffering. Nevertheless, the woman and her husband believe they should be entitled to justice in the form of monetary damages to compensate them for what they have had to endure.

Source: Scene Magazine, "No guts no glory," Kyle Swenson, Nov. 16, 2011

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