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Doctor Only Partially Removes Appendix, Resulting in Pre-Mature Birth

Earlier this month in Graham, North Carolina, a woman’s medical malpractice case against her doctor began, with the first witnesses taking the stand saying that the defendant doctor did not perform up to the expected standard of care.

baby-1088-m.jpgThe case arises out of a 2009 appendectomy. Evidently, the plaintiff went to the hospital with severe stomach pains. Upon arrival, she was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. While she was being prepped for surgery, it was discovered that the plaintiff was three weeks pregnant. The defendant doctor performed the surgery, removing the woman’s appendix.

However, about five months later the woman again was suffering from excruciating stomach pains. This time she went to a different hospital and was again diagnosed with acute appendicitis. Apparently, the previous doctor left one-third of the woman’s appendix in her body during the appendectomy. She had to go under the knife again to have the remaining portion of her appendix removed. However, due to the second-wave appendicitis and resulting surgery, the woman’s child was born four months premature.

The woman sued the doctor who performed the first appendectomy, claiming that he “didn’t follow the accepted medical standard of care, didn’t use best judgment, and didn’t take due diligence or reasonable care.” In support of her claim, she had an expert from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston testify that “Not taking the time to remove one-third of her appendix was a danger to her and a foreseeable mortal threat to her baby.”

The defendant doctor’s position is that he made the best decision given the circumstances. Evidently, he is claiming that the plaintiff’s appendix was in an unusual spot and was partially obstructed by her colon. Thus, according to the doctor, removing the entire appendix would have required a longer, more serious surgery, and given the woman’s condition the doctor didn’t think it was a good idea.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
As you can see, medical malpractice lawsuits focus on whether the defendant doctor acted within the bounds of a reasonable standard of care. To prove a medical malpractice case at trial, therefore, it is incumbent on the plaintiff to show that the care that the defendant doctor provided was substandard in some way, not just that it resulted in injury. To do so, expert witnesses are often called to testify to what the standard of care is in the given situation.

Have You Been Involved in a Medical Malpractice Incident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a medical malpractice incident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries or losses. However, keep in mind that medical malpractice actions are some of the most complex cases to litigate. It is therefore highly advised to seek the counsel of a dedicated medical malpractice attorneys before filing your case. To speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your potential case, call (410) 567-0800 to set up a free initial consultation.