A rather shocking incident of alleged medical negligence may have veterans and their loved ones more concerned than ever over the health care provided to retired military personnel. Thank goodness it didn't happen in Tennessee, but with Veterans Affairs hospitals all over the country, it very well could have. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed only recently after the discovery of a scalpel that had apparently been left inside a patient four years prior.
When the 61-year-old plaintiff -- after experiencing chronic abdominal pain -- began suffering from dizziness, he sought treatment at his VA hospital. This was the same hospital he had attended four years previously for a surgical procedure on Aug. 2013. During his March 2017 visit, doctors ordered an MRI to attempt to discover the reasons for his dizzy spell.
Partway through the examination, however, a wave of pain struck the man so severely that doctors halted the procedure. It was then they discovered, via an X-ray of the man's midsection, a surgical instrument that had apparently been abandoned inside the man's body. In fact, it is believed that the scalpel they found was the same one that had been used during the robotic-assisted prostate cancer treatment the plaintiff had undergone at the same VA hospital four years previously.
Records indicate that the man began complaining of long-term pain in his abdomen shortly after his prostate surgery. Despite this, the scalpel – revealed by a simple X-ray to be the cause of his severe pain – was not discovered until recently. While the lawsuit will, of course, ultimately determine official liability, reports indicate that health care officials at the VA did admit fault. If any Tennessee individuals -- veterans or not -- have similarly received such poor medical treatment and suffered serious injury as a result, the guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney could prove invaluable in a fight for just compensation.