What if my knee surgery goes wrong?
Elaine from Perry had a knee replacement surgery in December. The nurse who was removing the bandages from her knee, used a pair of scissors on the lower part of the bandage. When she did, the nurse cut Elaine’s knee by about 6 inches, not only a gash, but actually cutting a hunk of tissue off of her knee near the bone. She says her knee replacement surgery went well and the knee was fine by January, yet the cut made by the nurse didn’t completely heal until March. She suffered additional costs of recovery in that she needed a home-care nurse to visit and assist her between January and March, as well as having to make three visits to a plastic surgeon to reconstruct the damage caused by the nurse.
Attorney Virgil advises Elaine to get her medical records and see an attorney right away. There is a two year statue of limitations on filing a medical malpractice suit in the State of Georgia. The Attorney must then contact a medical expert to see if there were both damages and liability. The liability portion of the case must show where the doctors or staff did not follow standard procedures of care. The damages portion of the case must show where Elaine had suffered some type of injury or damage as a direct result of the liability. Only when these two conditions are met, does Elaine have a medical malpractice case. He advises her to take photographs of her knee throughout the recovery process to show the attorney she contacts, along with her medical records.
The second caller is Debra from Milledgeville, had been in the hospital about a month ago. When she was released, she was given a prescription for medication that is normally given to a man. The pharmacist caught the mistake, yet it was four days before the confusion was cleared up and she was able to receive the proper medication.
Attorney BJ? advises Debra that since the amount of “winnings” from a lawsuit of this nature depends upon the damages caused, yet that in her case, since the negligence on the part of the hospital or doctor in releasing her with the wrong medication did not cause significant damage, that she would spend more money on pursuing the case then she could win. This is often called a no harm no foul, since she wasn’t actually given the wrong medication and she was only inconvenienced from having to wait for the proper medication.
Attorney Virgil and Attorney BJ go on to elaborate concerning the importance of double checking your prescriptions. Sometimes the handwriting is poor or the pharmacist might be careless and hand out the wrong dosage of a medication or the incorrect type of medication. Recently, they have seen an increase in pharmacy related cases.