Legal Options if Surgeon Error Caused Serious Harm
Surgical procedures are meant to help and heal you or your loved ones’ medical conditions. If a mistake is made during an operation, surgical errors can result in lifelong injuries and conditions. If you’re suffering from a surgical error, it’s important to know your legal rights.
Every year, thousands of surgeries are performed without any significant problems. However, surgeons and other medical professionals are susceptible to making mistakes. Any surgical procedure carries with it an underlying risk. Negligence on the part of those performing these procedures does, however, increase that risk significantly. Surgical errors can occur prior to the actual surgery during the pre-operative assessment, after the actual surgery, and of during the surgery itself.
Many surgical procedures do carry a risk of certain types of complications occurring, including those anesthesia-related reactions, blood clots, and cardiovascular issues. However, surgical negligence can cause long-lasting consequences to the victim, including incurring additional medical expenses, longer than anticipated hospital stays, permanent injuries, and for nearly 100,000 Americans every year – death.
Surgeons, surgical staff, anesthesiologists, and nurses can be responsible for one or more surgical errors occurring. If the negligence of a medical provider causes a surgical injury to the patient, that patient may have a legitimate medical malpractice claim.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to negligence involving a surgical procedure, you may have a claim for compensation. Medical malpractice law can be a complex subject, requiring extensive knowledge on how to navigate the claim process to achieve the best result. The Ohio medical malpractice attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick have the experience and knowledge to help you obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Surgical Errors and Medical Malpractice
Medical care facilities, surgical professionals, and doctors are not protected from potential liability due to surgical errors simply because they explain the potential risks of surgery to patients and have them sign consent forms.
A medical malpractice claim or lawsuit may be the only avenue of relief you can utilize as a victim of surgical error.
The standard of proof required regarding the validity of a medical malpractice lawsuit involving surgical errors must demonstrate that the standard of care applicable to the particular aspects of the surgery was violated. It must also be established that had a preventable error not occurred or another action been taken, the outcome for the patient would have been much better.
Major Causes of Surgical Errors
There are various reasons why a surgical error can occur. Issues such as failing to follow proper procedure, hospital negligence, direct negligence of a medical personnel (surgeon, doctor, nurse), and understaffing of a hospital are some common causes of surgical errors.
As well, if the surgeon fails to recognize the limit of their capabilities or attempts to perform surgical work outside of the anatomical boundaries of the scope of the surgery, significant errors can result. In such cases, a surgeon may unintentionally damage or cut another organ not within the intended domain of the surgical procedure, which can lead to the patient developing a serious infection.
Other reasons why surgical mistakes can occur include:
- Taking shortcuts during a procedure
- Insufficient pre-operative planning
- Inebriation or being under the influence of a controlled substance
Examples of Surgical Medical Malpractice Errors
- Unnecessary surgery
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Abandoned instruments
- Failure to recognize post-surgical complications
- Failure to identify anatomy
- Failure to monitor blood pressure
- Failure to repair damaged vascular injuries
- Failure to stay within anatomical boundaries
- Post-surgery infections
- Internal bleeding
- Retained foreign objects
- Paralysis after surgery
- Wrong patient surgery
- Wrong site surgery
- Wrong side surgery
- Organ puncture or perforation
- Bowel perforation
- Spinal cord injuries
- Failed cataract
- Failure to follow proper technique
- Failure to use surgical instruments properly
- Delayed surgery
- Improper sterilization of equipment
- Prolonged procedures
- Medication errors and overdoses
Consequences of a Surgical Error for a Patient
During or after a surgical procedure, patients can suffer injuries such as organ damage, paralysis, brain damage from lack of oxygen, chronic pain, amputation, sepsis, or internal bleeding. These injuries may result in temporary or permanent disability, or even death.
Surgical Error Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
The Ohio statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally one year. This means a medical malpractice lawsuit may not be filed after one year has passed since the date of the procedure, or since the date the surgical error was discovered. The latter of these dates is referred to as the “cognizable event,” which can mean:
- One year from the date you last received treatment
- The date you were aware or should have been aware that medical negligence may have taken place
These deadlines should be kept in mind when considering contacting a medical malpractice attorney for the purposes of filing a claim or lawsuit.
Medical malpractice cases that are filed due to injuries caused by surgical errors can be difficult to prove. Hospitals and surgical facilities may be reluctant to reveal that an error occurred during a procedure, unless the error is overwhelmingly obvious.
Contact an Experienced Ohio Surgical Error Attorney
In order to file a successful medical malpractice claim or lawsuit, you need the advocacy of an experienced attorney who knows how to handle these complex issues. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we will fight for your best interests in order to secure the compensation you deserve.
Call our legal team today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free case evaluation.