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Colonoscopy death leads to malpractice suit

Even routine medical procedures can lead to death when performed negligently. In one case, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a St. Clair physician, a medical practice and a health care foundation for alleged medical malpractice during a routine colonoscopy that caused the patient's death.

According to an amended complaint filed by the patient's estate, the patient was being cared for by her family physician in 2017. The family physician recommended the patient undergo the routine procedure, which was performed on Sept. 18, 2017. The patient's estate claimed that the defendants did not obtain proper preoperative clearance, failed to check the patient's serum potassium level after the procedure and performed the colonoscopy improperly.

This malpractice caused the patient to suffer oxygen deprivation, which led to her death on Oct. 14, 2017, according to the lawsuit. The amended complaint was filed on April 29 and includes allegations under the Illinois wrongful death and survival acts.

The estate also charged that the defendants failed to exercise the skill and care that well-qualified medical practitioners would have under the circumstances. The patient's relatives claim that they incurred damages from the loss of support from the victim and her society, companionship, guidance, advice and affection.

The first complaint was dismissed 13 days before the filing of the amended complaint in April. The defendants claimed that wrongful death complaints had to be separated for each defendant for each legal cause of action under Illinois law. Also, the patient's daughter could not file an action under the state's family expense act because this law only covers expenses incurred by a spouse or a parent for medical and funeral expenses.

Evidence and supporting medical opinions are vital for the filing of a lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help a victim and their family obtain this evidence and pursue their rights to compensation and damages.

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