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When 'routine surgery' ends up being ruinous

Just because your doctor calls a surgical procedure common or routine does not mean it is without risk. Any time a patient undergoes some form of ectomy - the surgical removal of something in the body - something can go wrong. One minor misstep in a Chicago operating room might not create much of a problem. Several together could combine and leave you seriously ill or disabled. In the worst cases, mistakes can result in death.

One story out of professional football serves as a good case in point. The date is September 2016. The place is the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Florida. The patient is former Minnesota Viking, Sharrif Floyd. According to details of a lawsuit he filed recently, he went in for what was described as routine arthroscopic surgery with a month's recovery and ended up out of a career.

He seeks $180 million

Floyd had been drafted by the Vikings in 2013 and played for a couple of years before suffering the injury that led to his surgery. During the operation, the suit claims, doctors discovered more significant issues and made other repairs. Doctors also administered a post-operative pain blocker that damaged muscle and nerve tissue that allegedly left him unable to play.

The claim in the suit is that the Dr. Andrews, the anesthesiologist and two others of the surgical team failed to deliver the normal standard of care. Also named are the hospital and other affiliated corporate entities. Floyd's attorney says the $180 million being sought represents what he believes his client would have earned had he been able to continue playing. A trial in the matter could start about this time next year.

To stay safe

Most of us are not in lines of work that promise multi-million-dollar careers. But every person's abilities and aspirations are important and if operating room negligence dashes your prospects you have a right to seek compensation. To stay safe in the operating room here are some suggestions from experts on ways to reduce risk.

  • Ask questions: Ask all the questions you can. Be sure you understand why your doctor believes surgery is necessary. Don't be afraid to ask how many times he or she has performed the procedure.
  • Don't hold back on your health history: Details about your lifestyle, how much you smoke or drink, what medications or supplements you take, and any allergies you have can save your life.
  • Follow all surgery-related instructions: This includes both before and after the operation.

If after surgery you experience complications, see your doctor, but also consider consulting a personal injury attorney to learn what your options may be under the law.

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