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Doctors owe their patients a duty of care. This duty includes appropriately informing a patient, accurately and timely diagnosis of the patient, and treating the condition accordingly in a way that keeps the patient safe. A deviation from the standard of care can lead to serious, debilitating injuries and, in the worst instances, death. For these reasons, patients who are harmed by negligent medical professionals should seek to hold those individuals accountable to recover their damages and to protect future patients.

One woman is attempting to do just that as she has filed a lawsuit against her doctor for allegedly performing an invasive surgery that had no chance for success. According to the lawsuit, the patient was told by her doctor that she had a fixed and tortuous colon that could not be inspected by a colonoscopy. The doctor therefore ordered a capsule endoscopy, a procedure where a pill-sized camera is swallowed. The patient claims the doctor knew or should have known that such a procedure would lead to a bowel obstruction due to the patient’s tortuous colon and her radiation treatment for cervical cancer.

However, the procedure moved forward and indeed caused an obstruction. The patient became sick, was hospitalized, and required multiple operations to remove the capsule. The patient claims she continues to suffer significant pain and bowel problems as a result of the mishap. She may also need additional surgery in the future.

Medical malpractice can drastically change an individual’s life. As evidenced by this case, the victim may be left with physical pain, emotional turmoil, and financial loss. When these damages occur, a victim should seek legal assistance in an attempt to make things right.

A Medical malpractice attorney can work a patient’s case in an attempt to recover compensation for the patient’s injuries and to deter negligent acts in the future. In an attempt to achieve these goals, the attorney will work to establish the duty of care and to show there was a deviation from that duty. Failing to inform the patient, committing a surgical error, and misdiagnosing a condition may all show a deviation and succeed in establishing negligence. If the negligence caused the victim’s injuries, then compensation may be obtained for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Source: The West Virginia Record, “Woman says invasive surgery had no chance for success,” Kyla Asbury, Oct. 17, 2013