View Our Practice Areas

Post-Tonsillectomy Bleed Case

A man in his mid-30s died from severe bleeding that occurred one week after he underwent a routine tonsillectomy which was performed because of snoring and enlarged tonsils (tonsillar hypertrophy). It appears that the surgeon caused some damage to one of the main blood vessels as he was removing the tonsils, and that damage caused the wall of the blood vessel to deteriorate over the next several days until it finally "blew out" on the date of death. The injury to the blood vessel was likely caused by electrocautery used to cut tissue during the surgery. This man was survived by his wife, but they had no children.

Most people think of a tonsillectomy as being a very simple surgery, but it actually carries serious risks, one of the main ones being precisely the sort of bleeding that occurred in this case. We offered two primary arguments against the surgeon. First, it was our contention that the tonsillectomy never should have been done because snoring is not a good enough reason to subject a patient to a tonsillectomy until you have first tried other less drastic treatments. Second, we argued that the doctor should have been more careful in how he was using the electrocautery in order to make sure that he did not injure surrounding blood vessels.

This man was employed full-time as a steelworker in western Pennsylvania and, therefore, our claim included certain of his future wages that would have been used to support his wife. Also, as in any wrongful death case involving a surviving spouse, the wife was entitled to claim damages for the loss of her relationship with her husband, the legal term being "loss of consortium." This would be considered a medical malpractice case as a result of a surgical error.

No Recovery No Fee

Find Out Why
Super lawyers Distinguished AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Million Dollar Advocates Forum