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“Botched” Pediatric Surgery May Be Medical Malpractice

botched-surgery-imageA surgical error can lead to a claim of medical malpractice in Kentucky.

And while some hospitals are open and forthcoming when mistakes occur, others seem to be less so.

A recent investigative report focused on one Kentucky hospital where cases of pediatric heart surgery went awry – but parents were allegedly not fully informed about what happened.

The victims were infants born with potentially fatal heart defects. These patients were “medically very fragile” from birth, according to WGHP. But after surgeries intended to fix the problem, complications arose. At least one baby died.

From WGHP:

[The hospital] has gone to great lengths to keep their pediatric heart surgery mortality rates a secret, citing patient privacy. Reporters and the Kentucky attorney general have asked for the mortality data, and the hospital has declined to give it to them. In April, the hospital went to court to keep the mortality rate private.

Parents of babies treated at [the hospital] say the hospital’s effort to keep the data a secret, coupled with troubling events over an eight-week period last year, makes them suspicious something at the hospital has gone terribly wrong.

The report pointed out that negative surgical outcomes are not unusual for babies born with serious heart defects. Many die or develop severe health complications even with appropriate medical care.

Surgical Malpractice in Kentucky

Surgeries are expensive, painful and risky, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is especially true when the patient is a young child with pre-existing medical problems.

Here are some surgical and diagnostic statistics from 2009, courtesy of the CDC:

  • 48 million total surgeries were performed on adults and children.
  • 1.9 million arteriography and angiocardiography procedures were done.
  • 1.1 million endoscopies of small intestine were conducted.
  • 525,000 endoscopies of the large intestine were conducted.
  • 497,000 CAT scans were taken.
  • 902,000 ultrasounds were administered.
  • 494,000 hysterectomies were performed.
  • 1.3 million cesarean sections were done.
  • 415,000 coronary artery bypass grafts were performed.
  • 676,000 total knee replacements were done.

Victims of surgical malpractice may have a right to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky.