5 Horrifying Real-Life Cases Of Medical Malpractice

You might have heard outrageous tales of Virginia hospital mistakes: someone has the wrong leg amputated, or wakes up during surgery. You may have just dismissed them as urban legends.

Unfortunately, these unthinkable errors happen all the time-and have devastating consequences.

True Medical Malpractice Stories

Here are five incredible stories of medical malpractice from the victims who survived the ordeal:

  • Pregnancy errors. Matthew Hayes and Nico Swift were a young couple having problems conceiving a child. They decided to undergo artificial insemination, an expensive and invasive process. But they received a shock when the Oregon hospital in charge of implantation accidentally inseminated a different woman.
  • Overdose. Dallas resident Sue Gonzales was receiving treatment for diarrhea at her local hospital, but due to an oversight, her IV of antibiotics was left in too long. As a result, the nerve cells in her ears were permanently damaged, leaving her unable to hear a thing.
  • Unnecessary surgery. In 2005, Laurence Ball was diagnosed with lung cancer at a UK hospital. He underwent lung removal surgery that may have saved his life-if he actually had cancer. Ball eventually discovered that the lung cancer was a misdiagnosis, and without his healthy lung, suffered exhaustion and permanent loss of function.
  • Gross negligence. Michael Hicks of Boston expected a simple liposuction surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The procedure was supposed to take 90 minutes, but Hicks did not emerge from the operating room for over six hours. An investigation found that the surgeon was suspected of being impaired during the procedure and had been falling asleep during surgery.
  • Surgical errors. Robbin Reeves awoke from his liver transplant surgery in 2005 to discover he had sustained serious burns during the procedure. During the operation at Vancouver General Hospital, Reeves's heart stopped beating and required defibrillation-but disinfectant on his neck and shoulder caught fire in the process.

Contact an Attorney If You've Experienced a Similar Form of Medical Negligence

As experienced Fairfax medical malpractice attorneys, we know that these cases are extreme. However, medical negligence remains a common cause of injury worldwide-with very few doctors held accountable for their mistakes. If you think you might have a case of medical malpractice in Virginia, call Shevlin Smith today at (703) 721-4233 for a free consultation to discuss your case.


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  • Serving Virginia & D.C. Since 1986

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