An old maxim reminds New Mexico residents to be sure that they are using the right tool for the job they are doing. This sentiment could even apply to the medical profession. Certain tools are required in order to correctly and safely perform even minor surgical procedures. If a doctor fails to use the right equipment for a procedure, it could constitute negligence.

At least, that is what an out-of-state woman is alleging. She swallowed some sort of dental appliance and went to the emergency room of a hospital in her area. In order to remove the appliance, it was necessary to perform an endoscopic procedure. She claims that her esophagus was perforated during the surgery because the doctor failed to use a tool that could have secured the appliance during the procedure. She also claims that the doctor failed to inform her of the risks associated with the procedure.

It will be up to an Illinois court to determine whether her allegations have merit and that her treatment constituted medical malpractice. The woman will need to provide the court with evidence to support her contentions that her care was substandard. In order to do so, it will be necessary to establish what the applicable standard of care was and what a similarly qualified medical professional would consider reasonable under the circumstances.

New Mexico residents would need to take similar steps if they believe that a doctor’s actions — or inaction as the case may be — constituted negligence. If successful, a civil court might consider an award of damages that could help with the financial losses sustained because of the medical error. Medical professionals often hold the lives of their patients in their hands, and they should be held accountable when they make a mistake.

Source: cookcountyrecord.com, “Doctor, Good Samaritan Hospital sued by woman alleging procedure perforated her esophagus“, Louie Torres, Dec. 12, 2016