Getting Compensation For Injuries Caused By Surgical Errors
Surgeons are held to a standard of care in the operating room. If a surgical error happens while surgeons are meeting that standard of care, there is no malpractice. However, when errors are caused by substance abuse, a lack of communication between members of the surgical team or a lack of competence, those surgical errors may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Even if you were warned about risks associated with your surgical procedure and signed a consent form, you can still file a medical malpractice lawsuit if the surgeon failed to meet the standard of care.
Wrong-Site, Wrong-Procedure, Wrong-Patient Errors (WSPEs)
A WSPE is any surgery performed incorrectly, on the wrong patient or on the wrong body part. Cases of patients with similar names getting the wrong surgery, bypass surgery done on the wrong artery and operations performed on the wrong level of the spine are more common than you might expect. Simple mistakes are understandable, but the consequences of WSPEs are often so severe that the medical community refers to them as never events.
Instruments Left In The Body After Surgery
Surgical instruments, sponges and other objects left in patients after surgery is one of the most common surgical errors in America. It is enough of a problem that many hospitals have started attaching RFID tags to sponges and other instruments to keep track of them. The federal government does not track how often instruments are left in patients after surgery, but there is research suggesting that it happens several thousand times every year.
Complications can be severe, but do not always appear right away. As a result, symptoms are not always traced back to the surgery. In most cases, an additional surgery is required to remove the items from the body.
Injuries Caused By Anesthesia Errors
Failure to follow standard medical protocols for administering anesthesia can lead to severe pain, brain damage and wrongful death. Violating the protocol is considered a negligent act that fails to meet the expected standard of care. Some of the more common anesthesia error cases we have litigated include:
- Failure to monitor anesthesia dosage
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Anesthesia overdose
- Anesthesia underdose
- Delay in delivering anesthesia