Surgeries are frightening enough as it is. So many factors out of your control are involved in the outcome, and you are putting your trust in your medical team to do their best.
While not all bad results qualify as medical malpractice, many surgical errors are preventable, such as:
- Delays: Continual delays in your surgery, or even just one, puts your health at risk. Medical providers must treat you in a timely manner before your condition worsens.
- Wrong patient or site: Performing surgery on the wrong person or body part may seem unbelievable, but it happens more often than you may think. Poor communication is usually the biggest reason for this serious error, according to the Patient Safety Network.
- Incorrect drug dosage: The administration of anesthesia must be exact. Too much can be toxic, and too little can leave you in pain. In addition, medications you must take following operation also require correct dosage as well as double-checking to ensure the medication is safe for you based on any medical allergies, health conditions and other prescriptions you have.
- Negligent preparation: The surgical team must prepare adequately to avoid making mistakes. In addition to confirming the patient and site, tasks include proper cleaning of tools and getting adequate rest. Your surgeon must also have the right training to perform the operation.
- Internal damage: Lack of precision or a lapse in attention to details can result in the surgeon causing internal damage. A mistake of just a millimeter can nick a nerve or a healthy organ, leading to serious, life-long impairment.
- Retention of surgical equipment: With so many instruments and other objects involved in surgery, it can be easy for surgeons and nurses to lose track of them all. Even something as small as a swab or piece of gauze inside you can lead to severe health problems.
- Improper post-op care: Just as important as the procedure is the care you receive afterward. Your medical team must ensure you do not get an infection or develop any life-threatening symptoms. You should be under constant monitoring until you receive clearance to go home.
Unfortunately, mistakes do happen. If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.