There are many things that can go wrong during a surgery. When a patient suffers a serious injury during surgery, it must be determined if a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist or a hospital staff member acted in a negligent manner. Administering too much anesthesia, operating on the wrong body part and leaving surgical tools inside a patient are all examples of errors that occur every day in operating rooms across the country.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, it is important that you have a good understanding of your legal rights and options. When an error is made during surgery, the patient and his or her family often face significant financial burdens including medical bills and lengthy hospital stays. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation for these losses. Tad Thomas, Louisville, KY surgical error lawyer at Thomas Law Offices, helps victims of negligence seek fair and full compensation for all their losses.
Table of Contents
Mistakes During Surgery
There are some mistakes that take place during surgery that should never happen. These egregious errors are called “never events.” According to recent research, 80,000 “never events” occurred between 1990 and 2010. For example, about 39 times a week, a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside a patient and about 20 times a week a surgery is performed on the wrong body part.
Examples of Surgical Errors
Errors may occur before, during and even after a surgical procedure. Some of the most common surgical errors include:
- Wrong-site surgery: Surgery on the wrong limb, organ or tissue is a form of medical malpractice that can have dire consequences for the patient. Examples include surgery being performed on the wrong side of the body.
- Instruments left in the patient: When surgical tools and items are left in a patient, it can lead to severe pain, medical complications and fatal infections.
- Infections caused by unsanitary equipment: Infections can wreak havoc on a patient who is already suffering from an illness or injury. All tools and operating rooms must be properly sanitized before each surgery.
- Perforation of an organ, tissue or artery: Cutting a part of the body on accident during surgery can result in excessive bleeding and even organ damage.
- Anesthesia mistakes: Giving too much anesthesia to a patient can prove fatal. Giving too little anesthesia can result in the patient waking up in pain during the procedure.
- Improper incision: Some surgeries involving incisions that are too deep, too long or at the wrong location.
- Surgical device error: In recent years, many hospitals have begun using surgical robots that are designed to make precise cuts. However, these devices are complex and often difficult to use. They are not always effective and could be very dangerous when the doctor does not have the required experience.
Causes of Surgical Errors
Surgical errors involving negligence may result from inattentive surgical staff, fatigued surgeons, failure to communicate, incomplete planning or rushed decision-making. These types of errors can occur during heart surgery, brain operations, gastric bypass surgery, breast augmentation and during just about any surgical procedure you can receive.
Consequences of Surgical Errors
Any type of surgery has inherent risks. Even when the surgical team performs well, there is still a chance that the patient will react poorly to the procedure. However, when mistakes are made, there is an increased chance of the patient suffering additional harm. Many victims require surgeries to fix the mistake, while others suffer from infections and damage to their organs. Some victims of surgical errors are left with permanent scars and disabilities.
Protecting Your Rights
It is important to hold negligent surgeons and hospital staff members accountable for the damages they cause. In cases involving malpractice, support may be available for the victim’s pain and suffering, medical bills, the cost of hospitalization and rehabilitation, lost wages and other related damages.
The skilled and knowledgeable Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at Thomas Law Offices have a long and successful track record of representing the rights of those who have been serious injured as a result of medical negligence. Please contact us at (877) 955-7001 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.