Routine tonsillectomy leaves girl, 13, brain dead

There's No Substitute for Experience

Many children in Nashville undergo tonsillectomies - the removal of tonsils - each year. The tonsillectomy is actually the third most common surgery that is performed on American children. As the surgery is very routine, complications are quite rare. In some cases, however, complications or surgical errors do occur during tonsillectomies.

A very tragic case involving a 13-year-old girl is making national news. The girl underwent a tonsillectomy at a children's hospital last week, and she ended up brain dead.

According to CNN, a short while after the girl woke up from surgery she began bleeding from her nose and mouth. She then went into cardiac arrest, and she was ultimately declared brain dead. She is currently on life-support.

It is not clear at this point why the surgery went so wrong. In some cases, negative surgical outcomes cannot be prevented; no surgery is 100 percent safe. However, post-surgical complications are often avoidable. In many cases, complications are the result of surgical errors or hospital negligence.

It has been estimated that 200,000 people die every year due to medical errors in this country. Some have said that this makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

While what happened in this tragic case is not yet clear, surgical complications may be the results of nicked organs, delayed care, anesthesia errors, medication errors, or unnecessary surgery.

In the aftermath of surgical complications, it is important for families of victims to seek legal counsel. This is often the only way to get answers about what went wrong and to learn whether the complications were the results of medical malpractice. When medical malpractice is to blame, hospitals and medical professionals can often be held accountable and families should be compensated. Of course, no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one, but it is important to seek justice.

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