Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC has decades of experience championing people who need our resources and expertise in all areas of personal injury law, including surgical malpractice. Our attorneys can assess your case and determine your next best step. Our professional staff can build a solid defense with full knowledge of applicable damages if you or a loved one has been subject to surgical malpractice. Whatever the facts of your case, our primary purpose is to help you and advise you about your medical malpractice law matter.
The High Incidence of Surgical Errors
Each year, about 10 percent of the deaths in American hospitals can be attributed to surgical errors. A study that analyzed hospital patients found doctors’ errors in 1 out of 10 patients who died within 3 months of having their operation. As you can see, surgical errors are not really uncommon, and several factors may contribute to these tragic oversights.
For example, many hospitals are under staffed and filled to capacity, and doctors and nurses are over worked. Fatigue and processing the maximum number of patients naturally leads to medical malpractice when a doctor or nurse fails to perform their skills properly or does not execute the care or proper judgment that would prevent injury, death or illness. Surgical errors often result in some of the most life changing and tragic events for the injured patient and their family and result in some of the highest settlements or awards in personal injury law.
Surgical errors can error during the pre-operative stage. The types of problems that can occur are 1) the improper administration of anesthesia and medication; 2) failure to indicate changes in the patient’s condition; 3) operating without proper consent; and 4) rushed or negligent preparation. Improper anesthesia can result in severe psychological damage and stress and other forms of poor operative preparation can result in impaired recovery, intense discomfort, and sometimes death.
People who have been injured due to improper surgical preparation have the right to seek damages as a result of their loss. Typical damages include reimbursement for medical expenses, psychological stress, and money from loss of income and the ability to work.
Many surgical mistakes happen during the actual surgery. The correct administration of anesthesia during surgery is critical. If this is not maintained, brain and organ damage, heart failure and death could result. If incisions are incorrect, it could result in cutting of organs, nerve damage or over-extended surgery. Un-sterile equipment could cause infection and difficult recovery.
Among the more shocking surgical malpractice slip-ups are the cases where instruments or sponges are left in the patient’s body, causing severe post-operative results. But the most appalling cases of medical malpractice are about 60 incidents per year where a surgeon operates on the incorrect body part or strangely enough, performs the wrong procedure on the wrong patient.
Following surgery, harm to the patient can occur due to poor nursing care. U.S. hospitals report that infection, pressure ulcers, bedsores and hip fractures are among the most commonly reported types of negligence. Of the people who died following surgery, 33 percent occurred after the patient left the hospital.