Miami residents who must undergo operations are likely to feel uneasy at the thought of something going wrong. Most of the time, these fears turn out to be just that, with no harm materializing. In other instances, medical personnel make mistakes, are inattentive, or even negligent. When medical malpractice occurs, patients can be irreparably harmed or killed. Recent disciplinary action taken against a Florida doctor shows the dangers medical malpractice can pose, even for seemingly minor operations.

A Fort Lauderdale doctor is facing disciplinary action after conducting an operation that left a man in a permanent vegetative state. The doctor was performing a procedure where anesthesia was used to allow otherwise painful chiropractic moves to be performed. Mere minutes into the operation, though, the victim lost oxygen and his heart rate slowed.

The doctor claimed that everything was fine, though the heart monitor alarm went off twice. The man was eventually rushed to another hospital where doctors were able to save his life, but irreversible brain damage had already occurred.

The harms caused by hospital negligence and surgical errors like this can be severe and wide-ranging. Victims and their families can face a lifetime of physical, emotional, and financial struggles. The victim’s family in the Fort Lauderdale case may have legal recourse to help them with these burdens.

In a successful medical malpractice case, a victim can often obtain compensation. These awards can be applied towards medical expenses, rehabilitation and therapy, lost wages and pain and suffering. While recoveries may not heal all the harm caused by an errant doctor, they can go a long way toward making life as close to normal as possible. In addition, a successful lawsuit can punish negligent doctors and ensure that future patients are in safer hands. Perhaps then patients will no longer fear the operating room that exists to heal them.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Fort Lauderdale doctor faces discipline over failed operation,” Ben Wolford, Nov. 29, 2012