Doctors operate on medical malpractice attorney's knees

It is understandably a somewhat awkward situation when an attorney who handles medical malpractice cases must go in for surgery. However, that was the subject of a recent column by a Missouri attorney about 150 miles north of Joplin.

He has had arthroscopic surgery done on both his knees, and because he deals with cases involving medical negligence, he keeps a careful eye on how doctors and nurses work together to avoid making surgical errors. It should be noted that all patients would do well to pay close attention to what medical professionals do before surgeries, and at all other times.

After all, it’s your health that’s on the line. The last thing you want is a medical mistake that causes pain and possibly disfigurement, corrective surgeries, infection and difficult or extended recovery – not to mention tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in medical bills.

The attorney who wrote the column said he watched as a nurse prepared him for his first knee surgery. She put her initials on the knee to be operated on, as did the anesthesiologist, the surgeon and the patient himself, leaving little doubt that the correct knee would be operated on.

Despite his extensively autographed knee, the attorney mentioned that he has represented a number of clients in wrong-site surgical errors, including one who had their wrong knee operated on.

It might seem impossible or even laughable that a highly trained surgical team could make such a mistake, but the reality is that wrong-site surgeries do happen. So please pay attention to where doctors and nurses should be paying close attention on you.

Source: The Examiner, "Preventing 'wrong site' errors in surgery," Bob Buckley, August 3, 2014



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