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Family receives settlement for surgery that ended in death

When a patient is on the operating room table and is under sedation, it is necessary for their oxygen levels to be monitored to ensure that they don’t dip dangerously low. Oxygen levels that are too low can lead to brain damage or death in the patient, and unfortunately, simple errors such as this account for a percentage of surgical errors that happen every year in Pennsylvania. In one tragic situation, a woman went in for a routine surgery and never ended up coming home.

A South Carolina hospital recently settled a lawsuit with the family of the woman who died while having surgery to implant a pacemaker. According to the family’s complaint, surgeons failed to address her low oxygen levels for up to four minutes, leading to her death. Although the surgery is now considered routine and the hospital has recently been recognized for its cardiac care, the family felt that improper monitoring led to her wrongful death.

The family was given over $2 million by the hospital in an effort to settle the claim, making this the second settlement the hospital has been forced to offer to families in the last twelve months.

The hospital would not comment on pending litigation, and some experts state that the hospital essentially pays for the family’s silence by offering a settlement. Any person who has dealt with a surgical error may benefit from contacting an attorney before accepting any settlement or terms from the hospital or health care professional they feel is responsible for the error.

Source: Charlotte Observer, “Rock Hill hospital settles second major malpractice case this year,” Jie Jenny Zou, August 12, 2013

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