It is not surprising that a medical malpractice story involving a penis amputation has hit the media. However, let's consider that this is a real story about a man who may have been the victim of surgery malpractice, and not just a sensational news story.
Amputations are rare during surgery, yet when a surgery causes an amputation, there is some suspicion that medical malpractice has occurred. In the penis amputation case, the plaintiff claims that his doctors acted negligently because they should have known that his high blood pressure and diabetes could lead to complications.
The man had undergone a penile implant surgery. Two weeks later, he developed a serious infection that turned gangrene, requiring the amputation.
Infections during and after surgery
While it is unclear what caused the infection, the plaintiff believes the doctors were at fault for performing the surgery on him. Any implant surgery comes with a risk of infection. Most infections do not require amputation; however, even simple surgical operations can cause widespread infection.
The hospital-bourne infection MRSA, for example, kills more people than AIDs every year in the U.S. Individuals who acquire MRSA usually need additional surgery, but may also need to amputate a limb.
Is it medical malpractice?
Infections can occur for many different reasons. Perhaps a patient did not take all of the precautionary steps to prevent an infection after surgery. Perhaps the patient's body responded unexpectedly to the surgery and developed the infection on its own. Or perhaps a medical professional did something wrong.
Determining whether medical malpractice has occurred can be challenging. An injured party must be able to show that the hospital or medical professional failed to follow appropriate medical standards, and that the failure to follow those standards left the patient in a worse state than he or she would have been in had the negligence not occurred.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you gather the documents and testimony you need to prove that the hospital, doctor or other medical professional acted negligently and caused your injury.
Source: ABC, "Diabetic sues doctor after his infected penis is amputated," Susan Donaldson James, May 17, 2012.