Among the most serious personal injuries that someone might suffer, a brain injury is at the very top of the list. Unlike other parts of the body, the neurons of the brain usually do not regenerate once they have been damaged. A case was recently settled that highlighted this very point. An infant was undergoing repair for a hernia. A hernia takes place when an organ protrudes through a muscular wall that normally contains it. There are several types of hernias that a child can be born with. This is a common surgery that takes place on infants every day.
Sadly, this infant suffered complications stemming from the surgical procedure. As a result, this infant suffered brain damage. Further testing revealed that this brain damage would most likely be permanent. During a surgical procedure, there are several reasons why a patient, including a baby, might suffer brain damage. In some cases, there might be an issue that chokes off blood flow to the brain. In other cases, the brain might be deprived of oxygen. The neurons in the brain can only go for minutes without blood or oxygen. If this happens, they start to die. Because the neurons of the brain don’t regenerate, the complications from this situation could be permanent.
Sadly, medical injuries are not uncommon in the United States. According to mainorwirth.com, “medical errors account for an estimated 220,000 to 440,000 deaths each year in the United States.” They also lead to a large number of permanent injuries as well, such as the case above. This case ended up being settled for $6.5 million, which is reflective of the massive quality of life issues this infant is going to face for the rest of his or her life. Because this patient is so young, the brain is never going to develop. The child will not be able to go to school, go to college, or get a job in the future. This means that the parents are going to end up taking care of this child for the entirety of his or her life. Furthermore, this child might also require prescription medications, visits to specialists, and repeat surgical procedures stemming from this injury. All of this serves to highlight why the settlement from this case was so large.
People depend on doctors to protect them from harm and treat them when they are sick or injured. When doctors fail to live up to this expectation, the results can be heartbreaking. That is exactly what happened in this case.