Off label procedure leads to medical malpractice lawsuit

When a person from Kentucky or elsewhere in the country seeks medical treatment from a physician, he or she expects to receive the proper medical care. This includes the proper use of medical equipment used in surgeries and other procedures. There are instances, though, where medical equipment is used in a manner that is not consistent with its tested use. This can be allowed, but only if the physician has been trained on the alternative use, and the patient knows what the risks are.

A woman filed a lawsuit against Orange Park Medical Center and a physician after her colon was ruptured during surgery. The rupture happened when the doctor used a stent that had only previously been tested for use in the esophagus. This is known as an off label procedure.

The woman asserts that the doctor did not tell her about the risks involved with the procedure. She required surgery because scar tissue had blocked her intestines. She was not able to use the bathroom and it quickly became a condition that was life-threatening.

The woman was in intense pain after the surgery. The doctor had used the stent in an effort to unblock her colon. According to the lawsuit, it resulted in a ruptured colon. She ended up with a colostomy bag as a result of the surgery. In addition, the suit alleges that a blood clot in her leg that led to amputation was a complication of the surgery.

It's been three years since the surgery, and the woman and her family want the hospital to pay for the results. The doctor has settled with the family, but the suit has continued against the hospital.

Doctors errors, medical negligence and medical malpractice are more common than most people might think. Those who have been injured because of the a physician's or hospital's negligence have a right to pursue compensation for such claims as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

Source: firstcoastnews.com, "Medical malpractice nightmare" Kaitlyn Ross, Nov. 07, 2013

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