If I had a pacemaker implanted but the procedure was not done properly so had I had to undergo a second operation, do I have any recourse against the first doctor?

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If I had a pacemaker implanted but the procedure was not done properly so had I had to undergo a second operation, do I have any recourse against the first doctor?

It was implanted 5 months ago due to a slow heart rate. After the surgery I was having a problem raising my arm over my head. I still had a slow heart rate and was not feeling well. I had to have the pacer relocated by a second doctor. Pryor to surgery he told me that one wire was not connected properly. After surgery he told me that the wires were sutured to a muscle and that it could have damaged a nerve. I still can’t raise my arm over my head without feeling pain. It’s seems I can’t support the weight of my arm.

Asked on May 26, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, you may well have recourse. Malpractice is medical negligence, or carelessness--when a a doctor is negligent, he may be liable, or financially responsible, for costs the patient suffers due to the negligence (like the cost of a second operation), or other monetary losses (like lost wages, if you missed work), and even for pain and suffering for disability or life impairment lasting weeks or longer (like losing some motion/use of an arm). Since misconnecting a pacemaker wire would seem to be negligent, this may be malpractice. You should consult with a malpractice attorney to evaluate your potential case.


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