Collecting Compensation for Surgical Errors
Medical malpractice law covers a wide range of accidents, including pharmacy errors, misdiagnosis, and anesthesia mistakes. However, one of the most common sources of medical malpractice claims in Florida is actually surgical error, in which a patient sustains a serious injury as a result of a doctor’s mistake during surgery. Of all the types of medical malpractice claims, surgical errors have some of the most devastating effects and many victims are left permanently disabled or in some tragic cases, even lose their lives as a result of their injuries. Patients who are injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence can and should collect compensation for their losses, so if you or a loved one were the victim of a surgical error, it is critical to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can advise you.
What Qualifies as a Surgical Error?
Many surgeries are risky and patients are required to acknowledge that complications could arise during or after the procedure. In these types of situations, injured parties are not usually able to collect compensation because they were aware of the risks involved. However, when a mistake is so obviously the result of negligent or reckless conduct, the injured party may be eligible to recover damages for his or her losses. While there are a number of kinds of surgical error claims, studies indicate that as many as 75 percent of errors actually occur during surgery and involve one of the following situations:
- The physician left surgical instruments inside a patient’s body;
- The surgeon operated on the wrong patient;
- The doctor operated on the wrong body part;
- Anesthesia errors, which caused a lack of oxygen and brain damage or death;
- A doctor’s use of non-sterilized surgical instruments, which caused an infection; and
- A physician failed to comply with the proper surgical procedures, which led to nerve damage or a punctured organ.
While some of these injuries, such as minor infections, are easily treatable if they are diagnosed at an early stage, others, such as anesthesia errors can cause irreparable brain damage.
Signs of Surgical Errors
In some cases, a patient may be unaware that an error was made during his or her surgery until it is too late to reverse the consequences. For this reason, those who undergo surgeries should keep an eye out for some or all of the following symptoms, which may indicate surgical error:
- Intense pain at or near the surgical site;
- Extreme abdominal pain;
- Redness or swelling near surgical wounds; and
While some of these symptoms also double as standard side effects of certain types of surgeries, patients who experience them after a procedure should always talk to their surgeon about them, as they may indicate a serious problem, such as a staph infection.
Even when a surgical error is not deadly, it can still cause a patient to undergo a significant amount of pain and suffering and cost him or her thousands of dollars in additional medical expenses. To collect compensation for these losses, the injured party must be able to demonstrate that the injury would not have been a reasonably foreseeable result of the procedure if another competent medical professional had performed the same surgery in accordance with the current standard of care. In many surgical error cases, this burden is easy to meet, especially when a doctor left an instrument in a patient or operated on the wrong person, as it can be generally assumed, even by laymen, that this conduct violates the reasonable standard of care.
Call Today to Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you were recently the victim of a surgical error in Florida, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 to speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate medical malpractice lawyer about your case. We are eager to help you today.