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Surgical Injuries & Medical Malpractice – What You Should Know

Watch the video below to learn all you need to know about surgical injuries and medical malpractice.


Learn More:

Wrong Site Surgery & Wrong Patient (Surgical Negligence)

Retained Surgical Foreign Bodies After Surgery

What Is The Difference Between Medical Malpractice And Medical Negligence?


Video Transcript

0:00 Intro
0:17 Injuries Will Happen
0:53 Possible Complications
2:01 Surgical Injury Medical Malpractice

Hi, I’m Bill Hinnant, physician attorney. It’s a pleasure to be with you today. Our topic today is surgical injuries.

0:17 Injuries Will Happen

Surgical injuries are an interesting topic from a medical-legal standpoint because injuries are going to occur. Any of you who have ever undergone surgery probably realize that you signed an informed consent at the time that you undergo an operation that explains to you or should explain to you what the potential expectations following the procedure should be, and you also should be warned as to what potential complications might be expected.

0:53 Possible Complications

Typically, these will include things like bleeding, infections, surgical scars, maybe injury to adjacent organs, this type thing. The long and short of it is that in surgical practice, whether it’s general surgery or some surgical sub-specialty, injuries do occur. 

So what generally occurs in the case of surgical injuries is ok, what is a complication versus what might be negligence? And negligence amounts to no more than just carelessness. What’s carelessness versus what is an expected potential complication of the procedure?

These are tough cases because many lawyers will tell you if you come in with a surgical injury and some damages that you’ve accrued as a result of that injury, that well, the reaction is really not possible because you signed a consent and you acknowledged that there may be some possibility of a complication.

2:01 Surgical Injury Medical Malpractice

I’d submit to you that these cases need to be looked at in a very critical fashion by someone with medical and legal experience because every surgical injury is not necessarily a complication. And number two, if an injury occurs that might otherwise be a complication, if it’s not detected at the time it occurs, and isn’t properly addressed, what you may be dealing with is medical negligence.

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in the operating room are responsible for ensuring that patients get the best possible care, regardless of whether a procedure has been planned for months. Our Nationwide surgical error lawyers can help you to hold negligent parties accountable for your injuries and prevent that from happening.

According to the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality ( AHRQ), around 1 in 112,000 surgical procedures results in injuries. These errors, also known as medical negligence, can occur for many reasons. However, these reasons don’t excuse negligent medical professionals. Patients have the right to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for any errors they may have prevented. These rights can be explained to you by our Physician Attorneys at LawMD.

What Kinds Of Surgical Errors Are Common?

The wrong site procedure. This is the most common type of surgical error and injury. This happens when patients have surgery done on healthy parts of their bodies instead of the ones that require it. It is most common when surgery is performed on the wrong side. Patients may need to have their healthy organs removed in the most serious cases.

Wrong Patient Surgeries. Communication is essential between doctors, nurses, as well as other medical staff. If charts are not maintained, or patient confirmations don’t occur prior to procedures, it is possible that a patient may have surgery that isn’t meant for him.

Anesthesia Errors. Anesthesia errors. Brain damage can occur if too much medication is given. Too little could cause the patient to wake up or feel unnecessary pain. To ensure that the patient is not unconscious, the anesthesiologist must also consider age, weight, and medication allergies.

Another common error in surgery is:

  • Incorrect use
  • Negligent sanitation preparation
  • Unnecessary surgeries
  • You should not leave surgical instruments, sponges, or towels behind.
  • Nerve damage
  • Prematurely releasing a patient
  • Failure to follow up with patients after surgery

Our Nationwide surgical injury lawyers are available to help you if you feel you have been wrongfully injured after a medical procedure. We will investigate your case and show you why it happened.

Why Do Surgical Mistakes Happen?

Every surgery is different, and every error is unique. However, there are certain patterns that can be used to identify surgical errors.

  • Poor Communication. Poor communication can lead to a variety of errors including wrong side or site surgeries. Before the surgery begins, surgeons must ensure that all medical equipment is available. There could be complications if they don’t inform the nurse.
  • Inadequate training. Not all medical professionals we meet are as qualified as they should be. Your surgery may fail if your surgeon is not familiar with the procedure or lacks the necessary knowledge.
  • Fatigue. Many doctors and nurses work too hard. A surgeon who works a long shift may make more mistakes if tired.
  • Neglect. A doctor who fails to sterilize or verify a patient or uses surgical equipment known to be defective can cause serious injury to the patient.

What Are The Consequences Of Errors During Surgery?

Even though surgeons follow safety protocols, errors can still happen. Patients may believe that the symptoms they experience after surgery are normal. However, you should immediately contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Sharp pains at the surgical site
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling or redness near a surgical wound
  • Vomiting

These symptoms may indicate an infection. Although infections can be treated, it’s possible that the infection was not present in the first instance. The patient may need additional surgery if the infection is caused by a medical device left in their body. This can increase the risk of further complications.

Anesthesia errors are among the most fatal of all the errors that we have discussed. Brain death can happen before medical intervention is possible.

Can An Attorney Help Me Prove That A Preventable Surgical Error Occurred?

There are always risks involved in any type of surgery, especially considering the complex nature of invasive procedures. However, if a healthcare professional fails to uphold the standard of care or results in injuries, our Nationwide surgical error lawyers can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Three essential elements are required for a claim to be successful:

  • Breach. The work of a medical professional fell below the accepted and expected duty of care.
  • Injuries. The doctor’s negligence caused the patient’s injury.
  • Damages. The patient’s injury had a detrimental impact on their physical, financial, and psychological health.

Our skilled Physician Attorney Team can help you because every case is different. LawMD is ready to examine your case and show you that you are entitled to compensation. Your medical expenses, future care costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages may all be covered by compensation. Contact us for more information about your legal rights.