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40 years combined experience didn’t prevent doctor error

Patients who need surgery are never guaranteed a positive outcome. Burlington residents know that. It's reasonable to assume, however, that the doctors and medical staff involved in an operation won't make avoidable mistakes.

A cancer patient in another state is dealing with a grave personal injury allegedly caused by doctor error. The wrong organ was removed. His healthy kidney was taken out, and the cancerous one left in place.

The victim and his wife have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for their loss. Reportedly, they maintain it isn't for the money, but rather, as security for the family if the victim's cancer comes back before the required four-year wait for a transplant expires. Since the cancer still had to be removed from the diseased kidney, the 55-year-old is presently functioning with a fraction of one kidney.

According to reports, the surgeon and the radiologist named in the complaint have a combined experience of 40 years practicing medicine. Neither has ever had a medical board action. As the couple was told the news, the urologist repeatedly apologized for taking out the wrong kidney. The complaint claims the radiologist misread the kidney x-ray.

The family's attorney notes that modern medical practices, including safe standards of care, should prevent mistakes such as this surgical error from happening. Medical professional negligence has serious consequences for patients, their families and the doctors or nurses involved. The victim, a businessman with grandchildren, says that he lives in fear for the future.

Physical and emotional recovery after a surgical procedure has gone wrong takes commitment and security in the knowledge that someone is being held accountable. Seeking financial compensation through legal options is a way to accomplish it. Defining the best approach with careful consideration of the facts is important when contemplating a medical malpractice lawsuit. Once concluded, either through trial or settlement, the family likely will have a better chance to recover and move on to the next hurdle.

Source: CBS Local Media, "Arlington Couple Files Suit After Doctors Remove Wrong Kidney" No author given, Jun. 12, 2014

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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