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Brain injuries can result from even routine operations

The term elective surgery may sometimes lead one to assume that it will be a relatively simple procedure performed by an experienced and competent provider. However, any invasive operation that requires sedation can have significant and long-lasting consequences -- including the risk of brain injuries in some circumstances. Sadly, some Delaware families have witnessed loved ones changed forever due to this type of medical mistake.

Recently, a judge approved a settlement for a case that had been ongoing for several years. According to the lawsuit, a woman had elected to undergo a non-emergency procedure for a hernia repair in her abdomen. Though the entire hospital stay was scheduled to be just for the day, her recovery did not proceed as anticipated and her physician opted to keep her for the night to observe her progress. According to the record, the woman then experienced a significant drop in the amount of oxygen in her bloodstream. The suit alleges that the hospital staff did not respond in a timely manner, and the woman then suffered a debilitating stroke and subsequent brain injury.

The victim now requires full-time care and ongoing rehabilitation. The woman's family and legal representatives countered back and forth with the hospital's defense team in an effort to arrive at a settlement. After 48 months, the two sides reached an agreement through mediation. The judge gave final approval for a settlement amount of $3 million to be distributed for the woman's medical needs and other expenses.

It is hoped that the woman's medical needs will now be met for the duration of her life under these tragic circumstances. No one ever expects a routine procedure will end with such devastating consequences. Delaware families who have witnessed a loved one suffer a similar outcome from possibly preventable brain injuries may also be entitled to file a medical negligence claim in civil court. While no litigation efforts can repair the harm that has been done, a successful suit or settlement may provide compensation that can ensure that the victim's physical needs can be met for the years to come.

Source: citizensvoice.com, "Judge approves $3M malpractice settlement", James Halpin, Sept. 15, 2017

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