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Failure to obtain consent can result in medical malpractice

Surgery is never an easy or pleasant experience to contemplate. When a child faces surgery it can be a particularly stressful and difficult time for the child's family. The family wants to believe they are doing the best for the child and typically place their trust and confidence in the surgeon. If a procedure goes awry, it can result in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio.

In a case at Cincinnati Children's Hospital that trust turned out to be sadly misplaced. A surgeon performed a spinal procedure on a young boy who was then 12 years old. During the procedure, the surgeon used a device that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and the surgeon neglected to inform the patient or the family of that fact.

Following the procedure, the patient developed a staph infection that caused the patient to miss half of his school year while he was on intravenous antibiotics to combat the infection. The patient now takes pain medications and muscle relaxants and is in more pain than before the procedure. The family brought a medical malpractice suit, and a jury determined that the hospital should pay $2 million in damages.

Surgeons are not infallible. However, if a device, procedure or medication is used that has not been approved by the FDA, the patient and family have a right to know that and a physician is obligated to share the information and obtain consent before such a procedure is performed. Failure to provide the information can result in a case of medical malpractice. No one can undo what may have transpired in a flawed procedure. However, a civil suit brought against a doctor or hospital in Ohio may provide compensation for current and future medical costs, as well as other documented monetary damages.

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