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A liposuction ended in death. Was it medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

Every patient’s worst fear regarding surgery is that the procedure will somehow go awry, resulting in serious complications or death. Most surgeries go as planned—but some do take a dangerous turn. Sometimes, this is because of the surgeons’ negligence.

Recently, the estate of a Chicago-area woman filed a lawsuit alleging that her plastic surgeons’ medical negligence resulted in her death. The plaintiff claims that the defendants neglected to recognize serious complications during the surgery, leading to the woman’s untimely passing.

Dangerous complications that went unnoticed

The woman planned to have liposuction and gluteal enhancement. However, during the procedures, she developed fat emboli in her lungs and went into cardiac and respiratory distress. According to the medical malpractice lawsuit, the surgeons failed to respond to these symptoms, end the surgery and administer proper resuscitative procedures. Even more alarmingly, the plaintiffs allege that the doctors injected fat into the patient’s blood vessels during the gluteal augmentation.

When do complications count as medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove for the plaintiff and their attorneys.  After all, surgery is not without risks. If surgery does go wrong, it is not always indicative of negligence. Medical malpractice cases must have several components, including:

  • Conduct that fell below the standards of practice
  • Improper care
  • Inadequate safety and cleanliness conditions
  • Significant injury to the patient

But if the litigant can demonstrate to a court that the surgeons deviated from acceptable medical standards and that this resulted in the patient’s death, they may obtain a significant monetary award from the court. Another option for both parties is to settle the case out of court.

Going to a surgeon for a standard cosmetic surgery should never result in death—particularly because of a medical provider’s negligence. Any patients or surviving family members who suffered negative effects because of a clinician’s actions, like the plaintiffs in this case allegedly did, can pursue a lawsuit to recover damages and hold the negligent party accountable.