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Wrongful death suit filed after stomach stapled without consent


Many of Oregon's residents seek ways to help them lose weight. When dieting and exercise is not enough, these individuals turn to medications and surgical procedures. With a proven track record of success, such measures, when carried out appropriately, can significantly impact an individual's health for the better. However, when it comes to weight loss surgeries, just as with any operations, avoidable complications can arise that leaves a patient in grim danger.

One woman was killed in one of these instances, and her family has now filed a lawsuit against the hospital where she underwent her surgery. According to the family's wrongful death claim, the victim went in for surgery to have a gastric band removed from her stomach so she could consider other weight loss operations.

However, when her doctor performed the surgery, he was unable to find the gastric band. Instead of informing the woman and discussing her options, the doctor proceeded to staple the woman's stomach. This act resulted in the woman suffering a gastric leak, and eventually sepsis. The woman later died from the condition.

Every surgery poses a threat of harm. Yet, well-qualified and attentive medical professionals can significantly minimize these risks, making the risk-reward analysis beneficial for the patient. Unfortunately, though, as this instance shows, a doctor mistake can turn a routine operation into a fatal accident, leaving a family without much needed emotional and financial support.

Those who lose a loved one to a medical mistake can seek to recover compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. A judge or a jury, if convinced a doctor's negligence caused the victim's death, may award money to a family to help cover its medical and funeral costs. Awards may also be given for the victim's lost wages and pain and suffering. Though these recoveries cannot bring a loved one back, it can help bring a family closure and comfort while at the same time punishing errant medical professionals for causing such a tragic and senseless death.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Doctor sued over claims woman died after weight loss surgery," Annie Cosby, April 9, 2014

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