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Florida woman's face catches on fire during surgery

A visit to the doctor for a routine procedure should be quite uneventful. When something goes wrong, however, it can be quite frightening. If a doctor is negligent or careless mistakes are made, the patient can suffer the devastating consequences. In a case of medical malpractice, it is vital to hold offenders accountable so that other patients will not have to go through the same experience.

A woman was recently the victim of a horrible accident at North Okaloosa Medical Center. She went in to the Florida hospital for routine surgery, but is now recovering at a burn unit in Alabama.

The patient was suffering from headaches and went to the doctor to have three cysts removed from her head to alleviate the pain. During the routine outpatient procedure, however, something terrible happened. While she was under anesthesia, a "surgical flash fire" somehow started and seriously burned the woman's face and neck.

She sustained second-degree burns and was transported to the Alabama hospital where she is recovering from the trauma. "Her eyes were too swollen for her to see me," the patient's mother said. She added that they have received no additional information and the whole family is in shock.

The hospital has not released any information regarding the possible cause of the fire and stated that they are currently reviewing the incident. Depending on the results, the hospital or a negligent staff member may be held responsible for the fire and the subsequent injuries it caused.

Medical malpractice claims should be taken very seriously. Patients who suffer a serious injury at the hands of a negligent doctor or hospital could be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills and any lost wages.

Source: Miami Herald, "Woman's face catches on fire during cyst surgery," Dec. 2, 2011

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