When we visit the doctor or are under the care of a medical professional, there is a certain expectation that we will receive good treatment and that no harm will befall us. That is the unspoken pact between a medical professional and the patient. Sadly, there are many instances in which that pact is broken. In these cases, it’s important to speak with our personal injury attorneys to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Right now, our team would like to focus on one especially dangerous kind of medical mistake: surgeon error. These acts of surgical negligence are inexcusable and the party or parties responsible need to be held accountable.
About Medical Malpractice
First some basics with regard to medical malpractice litigation. A medical malpractice lawsuit is filed when a medical professional of any kind (doctor, surgeon, nurse, pharmacist) acts in a negligent way that contributes to the injury of a patient.
The Severity of Surgical Mistakes
Mistakes that are made by surgeons are particularly serious as they can lead to further medical problems and even death. We have heard many cases of surgical mistakes leading to tragedy for families or continued hardships for the rest of a victim’s life, which is why all surgical errors have to be taken seriously.
Are surgical errors common?
They are sadly and surprisingly common. An academic study by John Hopkins University that was published by Surgery in 2012 estimated that at least 4,000 surgical errors occur in the United States each year. This is a staggering and frightening number, and it’s the reason that having skilled medical malpractice attorneys is crucial.
Below we’ll note a few common kinds of surgical mistakes.
Operating On the Wrong Patient or Body Part
You would never expect these kinds of problems to occur at a hospital in a first-world country, but it’s true. Patients may have charts switched or misread, resulting in the wrong surgery being performed or the wrong part being operated upon.
Mistakes Made During the Surgical Procedure
It takes steady hands and great concentration for a surgeon to do his or her job right. Lapses in judgment or sudden slips may lead to accidental injury of nerves, blood vessels, body parts, or internal organs, which may prove disastrous to the patient.
Patients have been known to have allergic reactions to anesthetic, which is why surgeons need to check for the potential of such adverse reactions before the surgery is performed. In addition, there have been instances of too much anesthetic administered, with tragic results.
Perhaps the most terrifying ordeal are cases in which the patient is anesthetized yet is conscious during the surgery, meaning that they feel intense pain but are unable to alert the surgeon that they are suffering.
Mistakes Discovered After the Surgery Is Performed
The first 24 hours after a surgery are crucial, and there are cases where mistakes can be discovered after the patient is out of the surgical suite. Perhaps the wrong sutures were used, or an organ was not properly operated upon, or an internal organ was inadvertently punctured with surgical instruments causing internal bleeding. Most alarming, surgeons have been known to leave medical instruments inside of the patient after the procedure is completed. Sometimes this is not discovered for weeks, months, or years.
Learn More About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
For more information about all of your legal options following mistakes by medical professionals, be sure to contact our Long Island personal injury attorneys today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you obtain damages for any hardships that you have sustained. We are here for you.