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Patient sues over alleged errors in knee surgery

Going through surgery is often a daunting prospect, especially if you are to be put under general anesthetic. You place yourself fully in the hands of your surgeons and normally this should not be a problem. Many of Maryland's physicians are diligent, conscientious professionals. However, each year, too many patients still fall victim to medical malpractice throughout the United States. One man in Oregon had all too close a call when doctors allegedly focused on the wrong knee while preparing him for surgery.

The man went for a knee replacement, expecting the procedure to be carried out on his right leg. However, when the anesthesiologist performed the necessary nerve block, it was allegedly the patient's left leg to which he administered it. Fortunately, doctors eventually realized that they had been working on the wrong leg. They then reportedly proceeded to repeat the nerve block on the man's right leg so the surgery could continue.

The patient has filed an $825,000 lawsuit, $750,000 of which is to cover pain and suffering, while the rest is intended for past and future medical expenses. According to the suit, the medical personnel did not take the necessary precautions to ensure the correct limb had been identified. It does not mention whether the surgery progressed to the point of causing injury to the patient's left leg. Nevertheless, the distress that could be caused by the incident is apparent.

It's a terrifying prospect that such a critical error could be made. The possible long-term effects of misidentifying a limb for surgery are easy to envision. Imagine if the procedure intended was an amputation. Whatever the case, it is vital that negligent surgeons are held accountable for their actions to prevent them doing harm to anyone else. An attorney can be of particular value in such a situation, aiding in the pursuit of justice and any attempts at claiming compensation.

Source: The Oregonian, "Man claims doctors identified wrong knee for replacement, sues for $825,000," Aimee Green, May 20, 2014

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