Patients like to believe that their doctors and surgeons always do everything right. Any time patients enter a hospital or medical facility for a surgical procedure, they place their trust in the medical provider to perform at a standard of care that will see them through the procedure successfully and safely, and with minimal side effects. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A number of different factors can lead to the occurrence of mistakes, regardless of how minor or major the surgery may be.
All surgeries involve a certain element of risk as a number of things could go wrong at any given time, and patients must understand these risks before agreeing to undergo surgery. However, surgical errors stemming from the incompetence or negligence of the medical staff are not considered an acceptable risk. Medical personnel involved in a surgical procedure are bound by a duty to provide a patient with reasonable medical treatment that does no harm.
According to researchers from John Hopkins Medicine, approximately 80,000 preventable surgical mistakes occurred in U.S. hospitals between the years 1990 to 2010. Medical malpractice mistakes classified as surgical errors may occur during pre- or post-operative care, or during the operation itself. When surgeons make preventable mistakes, the results can be severe or life-threatening.
All doctors and nurses are required to provide each patient with the utmost care. If a medical professional deviates from a standard procedure and injures a patient as a result, then the hospital or individual may be held responsible.
Causes of surgical errors
Some of the more common reasons for surgical errors include:
- Insufficient or poor preoperative planning
- Poor communication
- Incorrect work process
- Incompetent or inadequately trained surgeon
- Faulty monitoring devices
- Failure to maintain safety standards
- Failure to understand a patient’s medical history and risks
Regardless of the cause of injury, a patient deserves to compensated for all injury-related damages if negligence was involved.
Examples of surgical errors
While surgical errors are often linked to complex brain or heart surgeries, these mistakes can also occur during the most common procedures. Some examples of surgical errors are:
- Performing the wrong surgical procedure
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Administrating too little or too much medication
- Anesthesia errors
- Leaving a sponge, surgical tool, or other foreign instrument inside the patient
- Injuring a nerve during surgery
- Negligent use of surgical tools
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Providing unreasonable or unnecessary treatment
- Poor decision making under time pressure
- Unsanitary conditions that causes infection
Consequences of surgical errors
There are a number of common and avoidable surgical errors that result in injury and death to thousands of patients across the country every year. Among the severe consequences of surgical mistakes are:
- Brain injury
- Lack of oxygen
- Wrongful death
Proving surgical errors
A surgical error claim is considered successful when it is proven that the surgeon’s treatment failed to meet the standard of care expected from professionals in the medical field. It must be established that the surgeon’s negligent act resulted in injury or harm, and that the patient continues to suffer either physically, emotionally, or financially due to the impacts of the error.
In some situations, it is possible for a patient to experience a negative outcome even if the surgeon or surgical team performed their duties properly. Discovering the link between the surgical mistake and the harm caused to the patient can be a complicated process and require thorough investigation.
Compassionate medical malpractice lawyer ready to help
Depending on the nature of the error and the severity of the issue, medical malpractice may lead to serious injuries, permanent disabilities, or even death. If you have sustained injuries due to a surgical error, consult with an experienced Ohio medical malpractice lawyer from The Fitch Law Firm right away.
Many types of surgical errors are unjustifiable, and are also known as “never events”—meaning that these mistakes should never have happened. We can help you determine whether a surgical error was unavoidable or simply the result of negligence or improper care.
The Fitch Law Firm can examine your case exhaustively and help you seek financial compensation for the injuries you have sustained. You may be eligible to collect a recovery for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, and other damages and losses.
We are here to fight for you and help you get the justice you deserve. Call The Fitch Law Firm at 855-LAW-OHIO or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.