Nick Dixon, a senior and football star at a South Carolina high school, underwent a fairly routine procedure this past January – ACL reconstruction surgery. As a charismatic, upbeat teenager, he didn’t seem to be fazed by the prospect of surgery; instead, the morning of the procedure, he was most concerned about getting it done quickly so that he could tell his loved ones that he had committed to play football at a university the night before.
ACL injuries are common and can occur while performing a number of activities, ranging from playing an intense sport to simply turning or landing on your foot the wrong way. Likewise, ACL and other knee-related reconstruction surgeries are carried out on a daily basis in the United States and are generally considered to be quite low-risk. Nonetheless, complications in Dixon’s surgery turned out to be fatal.
During his surgery, Dixon experienced malignant hyperthermia, a genetic condition associated with dangerous physical responses to anesthesia. He then went into cardiac arrest, and later that day the 18 year-old passed away.
So, how did something so terrible happen during a routine, low-risk surgery?
100,000 surgeries like Dixon’s are carried out in America each year, so how could his surgery have gone so tragically wrong? His family believes that medical negligence on the part of the medical center where his surgery took place is to blame. Particularly, they believe that his anesthesiologist and associated nurses are responsible because they failed to recognize his condition and to quickly treat it when he showed symptoms.
Ideally, medical negligence would never occur. However, this case makes it clear that, unfortunately, it can happen in a variety of situations, even in surgeries like Dixon’s that may not seem particularly daunting. What would you do if you or someone you loved were a victim of medical negligence, and how could you work to avoid it in the first place?
Knowing your rights, advocating for your own wellbeing, and ensuring that your medical history and information have been relayed to your doctors are essential in proactively protecting yourself from some forms of negligence; however, often negligence on the part of a doctor or hospital is entirely out of your control.
In these cases, one of the most important steps that you can take is to seek legal assistance. Medical malpractice cases can be extremely drawn-out and expensive, so it is important that you have the best possible representatives advocating for you and your loved ones to get the compensation you deserve for your suffering – physically, emotionally, and financially.
We represent clients who have experienced terrible consequences as a result of medical malpractice, and we know how to fight to ensure that you and your loved ones receive all the resources, care, and compensation you need.
If you have questions about medical malpractice or believe you may have a case against a doctor or hospital, call us at 202-393-3320 today. There’s no risk or obligation for calling, and we don’t get paid unless we make a recovery on your behalf.