Twice last December, in different facilities in the U.S., a person having routine outpatient surgery ended up in an emergency room with extensive facial burns. In both cases, the patients were having a cyst or bump removed from their faces in what should have been a one-hour procedure.
Each patient wore an oxygen mask over his or her nose and mouth while under anesthesia for the surgery. A cauterizing tool used for the procedure created a spark, igniting the oxygen and lighting their faces on fire. In one case, the oxygen mask exploded. Both victims have facial, head and neck burns, and it may take a year or more to heal from their injuries.
Thousands of medical procedures are performed every day throughout the nation. Tragically, things do not always go as planned, and injury — or death — may be caused by the health-care professionals sworn to heal and protect us. When a patient suffers injury from the negligence of a health-care professional, the patient may bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Negligent acts or omissions can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, and illness or injury management. The concept of medical malpractice does not just apply to the individual performing the medical mistake that causes injury; it also can apply to medical and health-care professionals and organizations, including:
- Health-care facilities
- Staff members
- Pharmaceutical companies
Determining who the responsible parties are when negligence occurs in a medical situation can be a very difficult process, often requiring the assistance of a legal professional. If you have suffered an injury from lack of proper medical care, or believe an injury you sustained was due to negligence, consult with a lawyer who is knowledgeable with New Mexico personal injury law and medical-malpractice issues.