If I required a 2nd surgery hours after a laparoscopic appendectomy because of internal bleeding, was this negligence?

I went to emergency room and required appendectomy. A few hours after surgery I started to hemorrhage from one of the incisions and was in extreme pain, my blood pressure dropped dangerously low and I was rushed back into surgery. I was bleeding internally as a “complication” from the surgery which was never explained. I required additional hospitalization and several blood transfusions because so much blood was lost. A year later, I still have many medical bills from the hospital, surgeon, etc. I have obtained my medical records but there is no explanation of what happened or why the second surgery? I am wondering if it was just a complication or if there was some sort of negligence?

Asked on June 13, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need a doctor to help you determine whether it was negligence or a normal complication; if you think it may be negligence, that doctor could be one you consult with for the purpose of a malpractice suit. There is no way to tell based on what you have written, however: malpractice is not simply that there was some bad outcome or consequence, but rather when the medical care provider is negligent, or careless, in some way. Sometimes, the doctor does everything right and there is still a problem, and when that happens, it is not malpractice.

A good way to start would be to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney--such have the experience and knowledge to tell if there's a reasonable chance that there's a case. If so,  then the next step would be an examination/consultation for this purpose.


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