Medical Malpractice and Negligence: Surgical Error and Recovery

Oct 28, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Medical negligence is a vast topic, ranging from the wrong medications being administered to major complications during and/or after surgery.  Thousands of people in the U.S. annually are affected by it. However, surgical negligence is of an even greater complication.

Surgery carries recognizable risk no matter which way one looks at it. Surgical risk begins with pre-surgical preparations and continues through post-surgical recovery. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics nearly half of all medical negligence claims are brought against surgeons. The mistakes made by these professionals are often preventable, and often times the cases that follow these mistakes include:

•          Surgeons failing to give adequate information on the risks associated with the procedure

•          Surgeons performing an unnecessary procedure

•          Surgeons performing a procedure for which they are not qualified

•          Surgeons making a mistake during a procedure and not taking proper corrective actions

•          Surgeons performing an incorrect procedure

All surgical negligence cases are complex no matter how apparently simple the procedure. A surgical error, medication mistake or other negligence by a doctor, nurse, hospital or other medical professional can have life-altering consequences. Surgical negligence may have serious repercussions for patients, leading to long-term complications, ill health, paralysis or even death. Some of the more detailed cases that arise from surgical negligence are:

•          Delayed or prolonged surgery

•          Organ puncture or perforation

•          Incorrect incision

•          Surgery on a healthy organ

•          Surgery on the wrong site or on the wrong side of a patient

•          Use of unsanitary surgical utensils

•          Improper keyhole surgery techniques

•          Improperly supervised residents

Not all surgical complications are a result of negligence. However, if you or someone you know has fallen victim to injuries that resulted from a medical mistake or were not discussed as a possible consequence prior to surgery, it is important to contact an aggressive and compassionate Colorado personal injury attorney today to sanctify your rights and get the proper recovery after your surgery.

Surgical negligence is the cause of an astounding number of deaths each year. It is estimated that nearly 225,000 people die annually due to medical service provider malpractice, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, makes medical malpractice and negligence the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer. Revisiting the Zhan and Miller study, which reviewed the medical records of 37 million patients, the study reported that with the exuberant amount of cases and deaths that medical malpractice should be “considered and epidemic.”

Medical negligence and the responsibilities associated with it do not always lie with the surgeon. For example, a hospital can be held liable for having the operating room properly supplied. Anesthesiologists can be held accountable for an oxygen deprivation or anesthesia overdose. A nurse who fails to follow up on a post-op patient can be held liable.

It is important to begin the recovery that was intended as soon as possible. After a surgical error, one may collect both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are both economic and non-economic. What this includes is loss of wages, medical expenses and life care expenses. The non-economic damages are those associated with physical and psychological loss and damage. Punitive damages are those damages awarded in reckless behavior on the part of the medical provider.

Regardless of who is accountable, if you or someone you know has been injured due to pre, post or surgical mistakes, it is important to contact a Colorado medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer immediately, who will assess potential liability and next steps as to ensure you receive both proper care and monetary compensation for surgical complications derived from medical or hospital malpractice.