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Anesthesia error leaves veteran in vegetative state


Floridians who need surgery may find themselves afraid of the big day. Depending on the length, complexity, and purpose of the operation, these individuals may find themselves fearing that there will be complications that leave them disfigured, with a worsened medical condition, or an outcome that no one wants to think about. Fortunately, the highly trained doctors and nurses in Florida are usually able to competently conduct their duties in a way that leaves patients better off. Other times, though, that is not the case.

To see this, one need only look at a recently filed lawsuit against a Jacksonville Naval Hospital. According to the claim, a 22-year Navy veteran went to the hospital for an invasive procedure to inspect his colon and gastrointestinal tract. The purpose of the procedure was to identify the source of bleeding, which would then, presumably, allow them to treat the man appropriately. Tragically, though, medical professionals failed to adequately assess the man's medical history, which caused serious complications.

The veteran, a sufferer of sleep apnea, was inappropriately put under anesthesia. The mistake was serious, leaving the patient in a vegetative state. Despite common knowledge that those with sleep apnea are at a high risk of complication when subjected to anesthesia, medical personnel made a massive mistake that has rendered the veteran unable to walk, talk, or move his appendages. He now has to eat through a feeding tube.

Surgical errors like this are wholly unacceptable. Doctors and nurses should thoroughly assess each patient's medical history to determine if their course of action is appropriate. When they fail to do so, significant harm can befall a patient. If that happens, then, like the family in the case above, a victim may want to consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Negligent care at naval hospital in Florida left veteran in vegetative state, lawsuit says," Mike Schneider, July 21, 2015

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