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Surgical error leaves Florida woman with flesh-eating bacteria

Outpatient surgery is a type of operation that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Typically, these procedures are less complicated and, thus, carry a lesser risk of complications. Yet, surgical error, even during outpatient operations, is still a common enough occurrence to cause concern.

In 2010, a Tampa Bay woman had outpatient surgery to have an ovarian cyst removed. The woman expected to go home the same day as her procedure, but instead woke up a month later with flesh-eating bacteria attacking her abdomen. Her hands and feet had turned black and were later amputated. When issues like this arise as the result of a minor surgery, one must question whether or not medical malpractice has played a role.

According to the woman's lawsuit, her doctor sliced through her small bowel during surgery and finished the operation without fixing the mistake. It was not until the woman was operated on again nearly three days later that doctors discovered the nearly completely severed small bowel. Though doctors repaired the bowel, a great deal of damage had already been done to her abdomen.

Some of the simplest tasks are daunting for this Florida woman. She faces a lifetime of struggles. However, like in all surgical error lawsuits, compensation that is awarded can help provide her with the appropriate medical care she needs and deserves. Her therapy will be long lasting and costly. Those who forced her into a position where expensive rehabilitation and medical care is her only option should be held accountable and pay for the damage they are responsible for causing.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "After outpatient surgery, flesh-eating bacteria leads to patient losing her hands and feet," Stephen Nohlgren, June 22, 2012

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