A jury has awarded a 79-year-old woman a $1.1 million Baltimore medical malpractice verdict over injuries she sustained while undergoing gallbladder surgery. In her Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit, Phyllis Rode accused Dr. Chiau-Wen Hsiao of cutting her hepatic duct while taking her gallbladder out. Hsiao is a general surgeon at Franklin Square Hospital.
Rode says that because her bile duct was severed, she had to undergo more surgeries. Also, not only did she spend 10 days in intensive care, but also, she had to wear tubes to drain the ducts for 10 months.
Hsiao had argued that a severed duct is a known complication that can result from a gallbladder procedure. He argued that Rode had given her consent. However, Rhode’s Maryland malpractice lawyers claimed that consent doesn’t matter when a physician fails to provide a patient with at least standard of care.
The jury awarded Rode $106,000 for medical bills and $1 million for pain and suffering. The Maryland damage cap limits the noneconomic damages that Rode can receive to $665,000.
Bile Duct Injuries
Punctured or severed bile ducts during gallbladder surgery is a leading cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. There are steps that doctors can take to reduce the chances that a patient will sustain a severed duct during the procedure. According to USLaw.com, out of the 75,000 gallbladder surgeries conducted each year, approximately 1 out of every 200 patients will likely develop a bile duct injury. Compared to traditional surgery, the modern laparoscopic surgery procedure can cause up to ten times as many bile duct injuries.
Some other complications that can result during a gallbladder procedure:
• Bile leakage
• Ongoing pain
• Digestive difficulties
Gallbladder Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit Results in $1.1M Jury Award, Zimbio, September 14, 2010
Gallbladder Surgery Errors Damage Bile Duct, USLaw
Related Web Resources:
Diagram of Human Stomach and Gallbladder, InnerBody.com