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Spinal surgery gone wrong leads to medical malpractice claim

While the following story didn't occur here in West Virginia, the circumstances would resonate with anyone who would feel nervous before going into surgery. Which is to say "all of us."

A man who dealt with daily back pain for eight years is accusing the UCLA medical center for botching his back surgery back in 2009, and then trying to avoid showing the man his medical records, which seem to prove the botched procedure. The man went in to surgery for realignment and to have a spacer placed in between two of his vertebrae.

After the surgery, the man still experienced severe pain -- so much so that he had to take many days off from work, which ultimately led to his firing. He complained to the UCLA medical center in 2010, requesting his medical records so that he could look them over. The medical center denied his request, saying the records did not exist. Five years later, though, they handed over his records. They showed a severely unaligned spine -- worse than before his surgery -- and it proved that no spacer had been placed in between two of his vertebrae.

He has since had corrective surgery, but the man is pushing forward with a medical malpractice claim against the UCLA medical center and the surgeon who performed the back procedure on him in 2009. This is an unfortunate story, but it establishes a scary lesson: medical professionals and medical institutions are far from perfect. They should be held accountable when they fail to take care of their patients.

Source: Daily Bruin, "Patient accuses UCLA medical center of malpractice," Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, May 4, 2016

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