Surgeries, big or small, require ultimate trust in the medical professionals responsible for the patient’s health. Understandably, most patients are filled with nerves prior to the surgery. But no anxiety compares to that of finding out a surgical mistake was made in the process.
If you or a loved one are a victim of surgical malpractice, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the retributions you deserve. Medical professionals need to be held accountable for their mistakes since their mistakes have serious consequences for their patients and their families.
What is Surgical Malpractice?
A surgery that doesn’t go as planned isn’t necessarily surgical malpractice. Nor do all surgical errors constitute medical malpractice. Surgical malpractice comes down to meeting the standard of care for that particular surgical procedure. The failure to meet that standard of care must also be the actual and proximate cause of the harm done to the patient.
Surgical errors are not limited to the surgery itself. Medical professionals can fail to meet the standard of care before, during, and after surgery.
Surgical Errors Before Surgery
Proper surgical treatment begins with the consultation. The doctor must analyze the patient’s condition and determine if, and what surgical procedure is needed. They must also consider the risk to that particular patient by gauging if they can physically handle the surgery.
Doctors should also clearly explain the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as alternatives for the patient to consider. A patient must clearly give the doctor consent to perform the surgical procedure.
Surgical Errors During Surgery
The surgeons and their team must take every precaution to avoid potential errors. But misinformation, lack of communication, and technical mistakes can lead to serious injury, infections, and even death. Medical tools might be left inside the patient, the wrong body part might be worked, surrounding organs and tissues might be punctured, and the list goes on. Some surgeons may not even be qualified to perform the surgery their patients entrusted them to do.
Keep in mind that surgical errors are not limited to surgeons. Anesthesiologists, nurses, and other persons involved with the surgical procedure and follow-up care can be held accountable for their negligence. For instance, a nurse is often in charge of counting medical instruments, gauze, and other items used during surgery. He or she counts everything before the procedure and again before the surgeon closes the wound to ensure nothing is left inside the patient. If the nurse miscounts, they can be found guilty of negligence.
Surgical Errors After Surgery
A patient’s journey isn’t over once the surgery is complete. The doctor is still responsible for follow-up instruction, care, and careful observation. They need to carefully examine the patient and determine when they are healthy enough to be released. The doctor also needs to discuss what the patient can expect during their recovery, such as what they need to do and avoid.
Most Common Surgical Malpractice Cases
There’s a popular saying in the medical community that goes, “There’s no such thing as a small surgery.” Surgeries are invasive procedures that can have devastating effects if performed improperly, regardless of how risky they are considered. However, some types of surgeries do present more risk of surgical malpractice than others. The most common surgical malpractice cases involve:
- Bariatric Surgery
- Breast Augmentation Surgery
- Colon & Rectal Surgery
- Endocrine Surgery
- Heart Surgery
- Hernia Surgery
- Laparoscopic Surgery
- Liposuction Surgery
- Lung Surgery
- Varicose Vein Surgery
- Abdominoplasty Surgery
- Hysterectomy Surgery
- Coronary Artery Stents Surgery
Most Common Types of Surgical Errors
We have all heard horror stories of surgeons amputating the wrong limb, and unfortunately, those aren’t just urban myths. Doing surgery on the wrong area or body part is a real malpractice threat. Some of the most common types of surgery errors include:
- Wrong site surgery
- Wrong patient surgery
- Unnecessary surgery
- Surgical instruments left inside in the body
- Damage to internal organs
- Nerve damage
Why Do Surgical Mistakes Occur?
Surgeries are complex surgeries that leave a lot of room for error. The reasons behind mistakes are not limited to the following list, but mistakes often occur due to:
- Improper planning for the surgical procedure
- Improper work process or taking shortcuts
- Poor communication
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Is It True Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Aren’t Worth the Trouble in North Carolina?
Recent news stories have highlighted a controversial medical malpractice law that was passed back in 2011. The General Assembly capped pain and suffering awards in malpractice cases, which, of course, is not good news for victims of medical malpractice. However, the cap does not apply to all patients and does not put a limit on economic damages.
The cap may be overturned over time by Supreme Court. But in the meantime, it is still not true that medical malpractice lawsuits aren’t worth the trouble in North Carolina. The cap may not apply to your case, but if it does, you can still get a substantial amount that can make a difference in your life. Not to mention, you can still receive economic damages such as medical bills, therapies, medical equipment, loss of wages, and more.
Surgical malpractice lawsuits are complex, but they can be the right choice for you. If you are trying to decide whether or not to pursue a malpractice lawsuit, you should speak with an attorney about your claim. They will be able to provide the best advice and discuss possible outcomes.
Surgical Malpractice Attorneys, Asheville, North Carolina
If you or a loved one are a victim of surgical malpractice, don’t wait to contact an attorney. There is a statute of limitations for filing a claim, and you don’t want to miss your opportunity to receive justice and compensation for your malpractice claim.
For a free consultation, contact the personal injury lawyers at Fisher Stark, P.A. We serve the greater Asheville, NC area and all of WNC, and can help you determine if your claim is worth pursuing. Our attorneys care about our clients and offer aggressive legal help to bring some peace of mind back to their lives. Call today: 828-505-4300.