When patients visit the hospital, they expect to be taken care of to the best of the doctor’s and surgeon’s ability. These medical professionals have gone through years of extensive medical school and hands-on training to learn the ins and outs of the medical field. With all of that knowledge and experience, one would think that mistakes would not happen often. Unfortunately, they do, but New Mexico victims can be compensated. This is evidenced in the fact that an out-of-state court recently awarded a significant settlement to a woman for the injuries that she had suffered in what was determined surgical errors and medical malpractice.
The 56-year-old woman had been admitted into her local medical facility near the end of March in 2009. She had been in a car accident and had suffered a lacerated liver. The trauma surgeon performed a tracheotomy about a week later. In this type of procedure, a small incision is made into the windpipe from the front of the neck to help the patient with breathing.
However, the patient alleged in her testimony that the cut was made too high. This resulted in irreparable damage to the woman’s trachea and larynx. She now has to have a tube in her throat on a permanent basis in order to be able to breathe. This is something that she will have to have for the rest of her life.
Upon hearing testimonies and reviewing the evidence, the jury decided in favor of the woman. They determined that the surgeon did indeed fall below the standard of care that is expected of health care professionals. She was awarded nearly $2.8 million as a result of the surgical errors. This award was for her the loss of past and future professional earnings, non-economic damages and future medical care. When someone here in New Mexico suffers any form of medical malpractice, he or she may be entitled to monetary damages like this woman.