Surgical Procedure Error Lawyer
Surgical procedure error is a preventable mistake made during surgery by a doctor, nurse, surgery technician, or other medical provider. A surgical procedure error lawyer knows that all surgeries carry an element of risk. The potential hazards of surgery have led to the saying that “no surgery is a minor surgery.”
When surgical error crosses the line into medical malpractice, a surgical procedure error lawyer can help identify the negligent acts that contributed to the patient’s injuries or wrongful death.
Surgical Error and the Informed Consent
The patient signs an informed consent document before surgery stating that he or she understands the risks involved with the procedure. However, a signed document does not conclusively prove that a patient gave informed consent. The paperwork must also accompany a discussion between the patient and the doctor.
In this discussion, the doctor should fully inform the patient about the risks involved in the surgery. These risks include many serious issues like reactions to anesthesia and excessive bleeding. Some of the risks can occur after the procedure. These post-operative dangers often include blood clots, delayed healing, infection, breathing difficulty, and death.
Reasons for Surgical Errors – The Surgical Seven
Every surgery is unique, even the same procedure for the same medical problem. No two patients are exactly alike, no illnesses are exactly alike, and no two surgeries are identical. If you or a loved one has suffered from a surgical procedure error, it was likely the result of one of the “Surgical Seven:”
- Neglect. One or more of the medical care providers in the operating room fails to act carefully, such as lacking the proper equipment and tools for the task. When neglect leads to negligence, there may be a case for medical malpractice.
- Poor Preoperative Care. Everyone focuses on the procedure, but the preoperative visits to the surgeon’s clinic are equally as important. These visits are designed to educate the surgeon about a patient’s medical history in preparation for the procedure. Failing to catch critical information can prove harmful or fatal when the operating room lights come on.
- Incompetence. The inability to perform a procedure without error may be caused by insufficient training or poor skill.
- Ignored Process. Shortcuts can cause a disaster in the operating room. Surgeons that fail to follow specific steps are placing the lives of their patients in danger.
- Poor Communication. Surgery is a team effort between the surgeon, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical techs, and other medical care providers in the room. The hospital and staff are part of the team as well. Any failed lines of communication can open the door for surgical procedure error.
- Drug Abuse. Some medical providers turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with work and life stress. Working under the influence impairs judgment and is grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Fatigue. When doctors take “call” this means they are part of a medical care team assigned to respond to emergencies. A “call” can be 24 hours or longer, sometimes without sleep. Fatigue, like drugs and alcohol, impairs judgment.
Have you or a family member been harmed and need a surgical procedure error lawyer? Contact the experienced team at Richard J. Plezia & Associates to represent you while recovering from a surgical error.