Many surgical procedures come with unavoidable risks, which is why patients are required to sign an informed consent form before undergoing surgery. These agreements acknowledge that certain complications could arise during or after a procedure and generally protect hospitals and surgeons from liability. However, when a mistake caused by negligence or recklessness on the part of a medical professional results in an injury or complications for a patient, the wronged party could still be entitled to damages, so if you were recently injured by a negligent surgeon, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyers about your legal options.
What Qualifies as a Surgical Error?
While surgical errors can and do occur while preparing for surgery or immediately after an operation, studies indicate that around 75 percent of all surgical errors actually take place during the operation itself and involve:
- A surgeon leaving a surgical instrument inside of a patient’s body;
- A surgeon operating on the wrong patient;
- A surgeon operating on the wrong body part;
- Improperly administering anesthesia;
- A healthcare professional’s use of non-sterilized surgical instruments or equipment; or
- A surgeon failing to follow proper protocol.
These types of mistakes can prove deadly for patients, who could suffer from infections and chronic pain or could even become permanently disabled or lose their lives.
Signs of Surgical Errors
It isn’t always easy to discover when an error was made during surgery. Unfortunately, this means that some patients don’t discover that a mistake was made during their procedure until it is too late to reverse the consequences. There are, however, a fewsigns and symptoms that patients can keep an eye out for that can indicate a surgical error, including:
- Fever and chills;
- Intense pain near the surgical site;
- Extreme abdominal pain;
- Redness, swelling, or irritation near the surgical site; and
Although some of these symptoms are also standard side effects of certain procedures, patients who experience them after undergoing an operation, should still consult with their surgeon, as they could be evidence of a serious problem, like a staph infection.
Establishing Liability for Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can cause patients to experience a significant amount of pain and suffering, undergo additional medical procedures, and pay thousands of dollars for more treatments. Fortunately, it is possible for patients whose injuries were the result of a surgeon’s negligent or reckless conduct to recover compensation for these losses. In order to recover damages, however, the injured party will need to prove that the surgeon in question failed to use the same standard of care in performing the operation that another competent medical professional would have used in the same situation.
In some cases, this burden is relatively easy to satisfy. If, for instance, a surgeon operated on the wrong person, most would agree (including laymen with no medical training) that this conduct violates the reasonable standard of care required by professional medical providers. In other, more complicated cases, it may be necessary to obtain the opinion of an expert who can testify as to the at-fault surgeon’s failure to comply with medical procedure.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
Please call 813-506-5651 today to speak with one of the experienced Brandon surgical error lawyers at Palmer | Lopez about seeking compensation for your own surgery-related injuries.