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Routine operation goes horribly wrong

Four hundred miles due south of Covington, a jury recently decided in favor of a woman who suffered internal damage during a routine gallbladder operation. The jury agreed that the woman should receive nearly $11 million from the surgical team and medical center where the botched procedure took place.

The medical malpractice case began in 2012 when the woman went to a northern Georgia medical center for what was to be a one-hour, outpatient gallbladder removal. Unfortunately, the surgeon "negligently lacerated the left common iliac artery," according to the plaintiff summary. The preventable error was the first step in a perilous medical journey for the patient.

The lacerated artery caused internal bleeding, which the surgeon attempted to address by converting the procedure to open abdominal surgery. Because the patient was not given a blood transfusion, her internal organs did not get the oxygen they needed, suffering irreversible damage in the process.

She lost 80 percent of her blood during the bungled operation, a newspaper reported.

It was only later, after she was transferred to a facility 30 miles away, that she received the blood transfusion she needed.

The jury apportioned the blame for the malpractice on the surgeon (70 percent), the hospital (15 percent) and a pair of nurse anesthetists (7.5 percent each). While the surgeon and hospital settled their portions of the lawsuit before it reached the jury, the anesthetists went to trial and therefore owe about $800,000 each to the patient.

If it sounds like the woman hit the jackpot, that's far from the case. She "will need medical care for the rest of her life," according to the summary. She is fed intravenously, has a colostomy bag, and has nerve damage to her legs and feet.

For those injured by a negligent surgeon, life can from that moment onward be a monumental struggle. A Kentucky medical malpractice attorney will discuss with you the details of your situation and help you pursue full, fair compensation for your losses and suffering.

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