When patients enter a hospital or medical facility for a surgical procedure, they place their trust in the medical provider to complete the procedure successfully and safely. Unfortunately, several factors can lead to the occurrence of mistakes, regardless of how minor or major the surgery may be.
A Columbus surgical errors lawyer from The Fitch Law Firm LLC can help. Our medical malpractice lawyers can handle your case from start to finish.
All surgeries involve a certain element of risk, as several 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
- An 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 be compensated for all injury-related damages if negligence was the cause of the injury.
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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
- Administering too little or too much medication
- Anesthesia errors
- Leaving a sponge, surgical tool, or another 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 cause infection
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Consequences of Surgical Errors
There are several 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.
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Identifying At-fault Parties in Surgical Error Cases
Numerous parties could be liable for a surgical error. In fact, the negligent actions of multiple people could combine to make these errors happen. A critical step in pursuing fair compensation for your surgical error is identifying who was at fault. Some of the parties that are commonly responsible for these dangerous mistakes include:
Most of the time, blame for a surgical error falls squarely on the surgeon performing the procedure. Every surgeon has a duty to adhere to medically accepted standards of care. Surgical errors are common when they fail to do so. A surgeon could cause an error in a number of ways.
Your Surgeon’s Staff
A surgeon’s medical staff could also face some liability in these cases. Surgery is typically not a one-person job, and surgeons generally rely on a team of nurses and assistants for help. These staff members are not doctors, but they are tasked with performing important aspects of the procedure. When they do so in a negligent manner, they could be liable for any surgical errors that occur.
While the surgeon is often to blame when it comes to surgical errors, something as simple as a paperwork mix-up could also be responsible. This is especially common in wrong-site surgeries or situations where a patient receives the wrong procedure. Mistakes in scheduling procedures or collecting medical records could serve as the basis for these errors. The facility could face liability when administrative errors are to blame.
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When you hire our firm, know that you pay nothing upfront and out of pocket for our services. We only get paid if you do. If we achieve a settlement or court award on your behalf, we take our fees from your compensation. You and your lawyer will agree on the percentage they take from your winnings before working on your case.
If we do not secure compensation for you, you owe us nothing. We work under this payment agreement because medical malpractice victims are likely in a bad spot financially. The last thing we want is for you to worry about paying for legal help on top of your injuries and mounting medical bills.
Compassionate Columbus Surgical Errors 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 LLC 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 LLC 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 LLC or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
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