New Jersey parents may have heard that what was supposed to be a simple surgery with a short recovery time ended in the death of a teenage girl. After the girl had a tonsillectomy on Dec. 9 at the Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California, the girl awoke and spoke to her mother. Soon afterwards, she began bleeding from her nose and mouth and suffered a cardiac arrest. She was declared brain dead by doctors who also stated that they would be taking her off of life support.
The girl's parents chose to fight the doctors' decision. The mother said that her daughter was completely fine when she was admitted to the hospital. However, there are risks that are involved in common surgeries. In the case of tonsillectomies, surgeons may accidentally cut or nick a small artery while performing the surgery. If cauterizing the cut does not work, the patient could bleed uncontrollably.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, making it the third-leading cause of death, as revealed by a leader of patient quality and safety at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Pre-existing conditions, such as obesity or liver or lung problems, could increase the risk of complications.
For those suffering from the loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice, there may be actions that could be taken to hold the medical care provider financially responsible. It may be possible for the family to file a medical malpractice claim in order to recover their loved one's medical and funeral expenses. If the deceased patient was also providing for his or her family, they could include lost income in the claim.