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Unneeded Surgery: Army Veteran Settles Lawsuit Against VA Medical Center

One thing we trust doctors to do is to avoid prescribing and carrying out medical treatments that we do not need.

Sometimes, though, unnecessary medical procedures are carried out due to misdiagnosis or another failure on the part of medical providers, and the result can be harm to the patient.

After suffering a massive stroke following an unnecessary surgery, an Army veteran sued the VA hospital for medical malpractice and won.

The veteran had been told that his carotid artery was completely blocked and needed to be cleaned out. The plan was for him to undergo a one-hour surgery, but as it turned out, the artery wasn't the problem.

Still, the surgery lasted five hours, and the man suffered a massive stroke. He didn't leave the hospital for about two months. He said he couldn't walk for four weeks and couldn't talk for four days.

Now he only has about 10 percent use of his arm -- he tries to straighten his fingers but can't -- and the stroke has affected his speech.

The man said that he was told by medical providers to stop taking aspirin for about a week prior to surgery. Since the lawsuit, though, the VA hospital, which is in Virginia, has changed its policy to require veterans who are undergoing particular surgeries to continue taking aspirin and anti-platelet therapy medicines.

The lawsuit was recently settled for $750,000, and the veteran and his wife hope the money will be enough to provide for them in the coming years.

Medical malpractice can be devastating, and when VA medical negligence leads to injuries, it is crucial for veterans and their families to be aware of their legal options.

For more on VA hospital negligence, please see our previous post, "Injured Due to Military Medical Negligence? Learn More about the Federal Tort Claims Act."

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