The Florida Times-Union reported this week on a new medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a widower following the death of his wife. The case is a tragic one, with a young mother dying in her house after a cosmetic surgery procedure. She left behind two young sons. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys know that these sorts of cases, where a family is torn apart as a result of medical errors, represents some of the most heart wrenching forms of these civil suits.
The mother in this case was thirty nine years old when she underwent a plastic surgery procedure last August. The procedure was known as a “Mommy makeover” intended to help a mother improve her physical shape following childbirth, including a tummy tuck and a few other procedures. The woman gave birth to her first son in march of 2009 and had a second child only 15 months later. She planned to have the surgery performed before re-entering the workforce after giving birth to her children–she was a civil attorney.
The woman went in for the surgery and at first there did not appear to be any problems. However, only three days later, while at her home, the woman collapsed. She was rushed to the hospital but nothing could be done, and she passed away. Investigations into the situation afterward revealed much more about what led to the tragedy. For one thing, the immediate cause of death was identified as a blood clot in her lung–a pulmonary embolism.
The woman’s family eventually filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the woman’s primary care physician and plastic surgeon. The suit alleges medical negligence on their part. Specifically, the complaint filed in the case alleges that the doctors should have taken the woman off of birth control, Yasmin, prior to the surgery. That is because the birth control medication is known to increase the risks of blood clots.
The suit claims that both doctors knew she was taking the medication. In addition, it was well-known that use of these oral contraceptives increases clotting risks following surgery. Reasonable medical professionals would have therefore taken the woman off the pills before performing the operation. In fact, the family’s medical malpractice attorney noted that a basic Physician’s Desk Reference even mentioned that oral contraceptives should be “discontinued from at least four weeks prior to and two weeks after elective surgery.”
Our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys appreciate the senselessness of these tragedies. Surgeries always come with some risks, and patients understand that sometimes medical complications arise which cannot be prevented. However, that does not mean that all unexpected harm following a medical procedure is simply an unpreventable mistake. In many cases, like this one, the actual root cause of the complications was entirely preventable if basic standards of care were followed. If those standards were not followed and injury results, then a civil lawsuit is often appropriate to ensure proper accountability. If you suspect that you are someone you know was in this situation, be sure to seek out a legal professional as soon as possible.
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