Woman Files Suit Against Jacksonville Hospital Claiming Surgical Errors
According to a report from a local Jacksonville news outlet, a Jacksonville woman recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a naval hospital after discovering only months ago that a portion of a spinal needle was left in her back when she gave birth more than a decade ago.
This unfortunate incident is only a reminder of the many surgical errors that are committed at hospitals in Florida on a regular basis. These errors can result in lifelong pain and suffering, needless injuries and even death for many people. Some estimates have put the number of deaths caused by surgical mistakes at over 12,000 across the United States in any given year. These types of surgical errors are all too common and patients who have been the victim of a surgical error like a retained instrument should seek justice for their injuries
Amy Bright’s September 2003 Epidural Gone Wrong
In September 2003, Amy Bright delivered her youngest child at Jacksonville Naval Hospital. She had reported feeling chronic back pain to her doctors ever since, but the same naval hospital diagnosed her with sciatica. Sciatica is a condition in which a patient experiences leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that begins in the lower back and then travels through the buttocks and down the back of each leg along the hamstring. The name comes from the sciatic nerve, which runs the length of the leg along the hamstring. However, a CT scan taken 13 years later at another healthcare facility reflected the real reason for Ms. Bright’s back pain over all those years-a three-centimeter segment of needle lodged in her spine. Upon further investigation by her attorney, this mystery coincided with a notation in her medical records from the naval hospital that an attempt to perform an epidural during the birth of her child in 2003 was unsuccessful. However, due to the fact that the spinal cord is such a vital structure with so many important functions, physicians have advised Ms. Bright she will have to live with the pain, as it is too risky to attempt to remove the needle fragment given its positioning.
Retained Foreign Instruments and Other Surgical Instruments in Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida
Because surgical errors like leaving a spinal needle in a patient are unfortunately much more common than they should be in the Sunshine State today, Florida law has developed a presumption which requires a hospital or healthcare provider to prove they were not negligent when a foreign instrument like the needle fragment in Amy Bright’s case is left in a patient. This is the reverse of most medical malpractice cases, when it is the patient’s burden to prove that malpractice occurred. The law therefore has nonetheless evolved to recognize the danger and inherent risks associated with surgical procedures-errors that only physicians and other healthcare providers can prevent when a patient is often asleep.
Contact Lytal Reiter if You Have Been the Victim of a Surgical Error or Some Other Form of Medical Malpractice in Florida
The Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have experience successfully litigating complicated medical malpractice cases. If you believe you have been the victim of a surgical error like Amy Bright, contact a Florida medical malpractice attorney from our firm. We are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call today at 561-655-1990 or 800-654-2024 for a free consultation regarding your situation.
About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer. Call us at 561-655-1990 or Visit us at.
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