There are nearly 80 organs in the human body, each performing an important specific function to keep us alive and healthy. When any one of these organs malfunctions or fails, we are at risk of developing serious disease or even dying. The brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys are considered vital organs as their functioning is essential to keep us alive.
While organs can be damaged through disease, infection, and drug abuse, they can also be damaged due to surgical errors or medication mistakes caused by careless or negligent doctors and nurses. For example, organ damage can occur as a result of a doctor failing to diagnose a health condition or from a surgeon lacerating an organ during an unrelated operation. An error made in prescribing or administering a drug could also result in organ damage.
The Disabling Effects of Organ Damage
When certain mistakes are made as a result of medical negligence, organ damage can occur, which can result in the following disabling effects:
- Brain damage. An error made during brain surgery, oxygen deprivation, or overdose of certain medications could cause damage to the brain. As the control center for all body systems, the brain must function at full capacity in order for all other systems to work. Symptoms of brain damage include loss of consciousness, reduction in the ability to focus, and problems related to memory, perception, and orientation. More severe brain damage could result in complete failure of other systems, resulting in incapacitation or death.
- Respiratory failure. If a doctor fails to diagnose an injury or fails to perform a surgery correctly and a patient suffers damage to the lungs, his breathing can be permanently impaired. When a person cannot breathe correctly, he will not be able to move the necessary oxygen into the blood and the organs won’t be able to get the oxygen-rich blood they need to function. As a result, respiratory failure can cause disabilities and death.
- Cardiovascular failure. When blood flow to or from the heart is reduced or stopped, it can cause cardiovascular failure, which can disable or kill the victim. Sadly, this can occur when doctors fail to diagnose and treat heart attacks, strokes, and other heart problems.
- Liver failure. The liver has many functions, including detoxifying harmful chemicals, breaking down drugs, filtering blood, secreting bile, and producing blood-clotting proteins. If a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional prescribes or administers an excessive amount of a powerful drug, a person may suffer liver damage or failure.
- Kidney or renal failure. Kidneys have the job of removing waste and toxins from the body by making urine. When the kidneys are damaged, it is possible that the kidneys might not be able to properly remove the waste and extra fluid from the body. When the kidneys have stopped working like they should, it is known as renal failure. This can be caused by an undiagnosed heart attack or overmedication.
Because our organs are designed to perform specific functions or actions, the outcome of organ damage can be very serious and even fatal. If you have suffered the disabling effects of organ failure as a result of medical negligence, you need to learn about your rights to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Learn more by ordering a free copy of our book, What You Need to Know Before Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Case or call us with any question at (703) 591-0067.