Study Finds Thyroid Surgery Riskier for Older Patients; Medical Malpractice Issues?

John Fisher
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A new study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has found a correlation between age, thyroid surgery, and serious complications.  In it, the study looked at almost eight-thousand American patients who had all or part of their thyroid gland removed.  The study concluded that seniors who have a thyroid surgery are much more likely than younger patients to suffer certain serious complications such as heart damage, lung problems, and infections.

In fact, as compared to younger patients, the study found that postoperative complications were actually five times higher in patients who were 80 and older and two times higher in patients 65 to 79 years old.  This is actually quite significant and should be taken into consideration.

But what considerations for medical malpractice should be made?  Well for starters, if the standard of when to perform thyroid operations changes and a physician is not abreast to these changes so he or she performs the surgery anyway and it results in a harm, this is medical malpractice.

Moreover, if a physician fails to discuss and get informed consent from an elderly patient prior to surgery, this could also lead to liability.  A physician MUST discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a proposed course of treatment PRIOR to that treatment.  These means that if the physician fails to do instruct the patient on this, and the surgery results in a harm due to a risk that the patient might not have undertaken, this would be another cause of action for medical malpractice.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com
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