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Couple awarded $8.3 million in VA hospital negligence case

Many enlisted and veteran military members rely on VA medical centers to provide a high quality of medical care. However, as New Mexico readers may have heard on the news, the VA has had many problems in recent years providing the level of care that these veterans need. In a recent medical malpractice case in another state, a veteran and his wife were awarded $8.3 million due to VA hospital negligence that resulted in permanent brain damage and a leg amputation.

In Feb. 2009, the man went to the John Cochran VA Medical Center to have a cardiac stent put in his chest -- a common procedure. However, the surgical site, which was located on his upper right thigh, began bleeding and swelling afterwards. A week after the procedure, he was readmitted to the hospital to have surgery on an infected artery at the surgical site.

According to reports, hospital negligence resulted in the man losing a lot of blood during the surgery, which caused permanent brain damage. Furthermore, his leg developed gangrene and required amputation. His lawyers claim the Cochran staff waited too long to perform the surgery and repaired the artery with infected tissue. The man is now paralyzed and mostly unable to communicate.

Fortunately, this level of hospital negligence is rare. However, should any routine procedure go wrong in a New Mexico hospital, the patient may find it beneficial to see what course of action he or she can take under our state's medical malpractice laws. He or she may be able to seek damages for medical expenses as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering, which may bring some comfort and closure after a catastrophic ordeal.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis man wins $8.3 million malpractice award against John Cochran VA hospital, Blythe Bernhard, Nov. 19, 2013

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