Surgical errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice. When a surgeon or other medical staff in the operating room makes a mistake during a procedure, the consequences can be life-altering or even fatal. If you’ve suffered from this type of malpractice, it’s in your best interest to work with an Omaha surgical error lawyer. Our attorneys will fight on your behalf to ensure you’re able to recover as soon and as completely as possible.
Why Malpractice Occurs in the Operating Room
While there’s never an excuse for a surgical error, there are ways to explain why they happened. When you work with your lawyer, they’ll be able to investigate your injuries and determine where the surgeon or attending medical staff went wrong. Some of the most common reasons why malpractice occurs in the operating room include:
- Poor Communication. It’s crucial for all those in the operating room to be on the same page during a procedure. Identification verification should be done to ensure the right patient is having the right body part operated on. When something is miscommunicated, the resulting injuries can be severe.
- Incompetence. Depending on the surgeon, there’s a chance they are unfamiliar with certain procedures. They may also lack the skills to perform the surgery successfully. While a patient would hope their surgeon would inform them of that and find someone capable to perform their operation, that doesn’t always happen.
- Inadequate Planning. The surgeon and other medical professionals need to be well-prepared for surgery. This involves reviewing and preparing for any complications that could occur. It also means having all the necessary equipment ready and available for when the surgeon needs it.
- Fatigue. Surgeons work incredibly long shifts. If a surgeon works longer than they should, fatigue can result. Doctors are more likely to make mistakes when they’re tired.
- Drugs and Alcohol. In order to cope with the stress they face, some negligent surgeons turn to drugs or alcohol.
Examples of Surgical Mistake Injuries
Surgical errors may cause minor, severe, or fatal injuries. No matter what type of injury you sustained in the operating room, it’s important to hold the negligent party accountable. Some of the most common surgical error injuries our Omaha surgical error lawyers see include:
- Nerve Damage. When a surgeon slips or nicks a nerve, damage is possible. Depending on the location of the damage the consequences could last a lifetime. Nerve damage is also possible if anesthesia is administered incorrectly.
- Wrong Site Surgery. This error happens when a patient’s surgery is performed on the wrong side or part of the body. In the most severe case, a patient could have the wrong limb amputated or a healthy organ removed.
- Infection. Sanitation is one of the most important elements of the operating room. When unsanitary surgical instruments are used during an operation, cross-contamination can occur. This can make a person’s recovery more difficult because infection is likely.
- Surgical Instruments Left in Body. Not all hospitals require the tracking of surgical instruments. When instruments like sponges, scalpels, and gauze are unaccounted for they may be left inside a patient’s body. Serious complications and infections are possible. Additional procedures will be needed to remove the instrument.
- Wrong Patient Surgery. Prior to beginning a procedure, the patient’s identification needs to be confirmed. When it’s not, a patient may be subjected to unneeded surgery. As a result, they may suffer from complications from that surgery or because they did not undergo the procedure they needed.
Consequences of Surgical Errors
When a patient suffers an injury because of a surgeon’s mistake, there are a number of resulting consequences. They can be broken down into physical, emotional, and financial categories. When you file a claim with an Omaha attorney, they’ll be sure to take the consequences into consideration when determining how much compensation you’re owed.
The physical and emotional consequences are often tied together. The injury victim may require additional surgeries and a longer recovery period. If their initial condition was never treated properly, their symptoms may worsen, and their overall health status could decline. When a person suffers physically because of someone’s negligent actions, it’s likely that they’ll experience emotional distress. Depression and anxiety are common.
The financial consequences are related to two factors. The first is the piling medical bills the injured patient will be sent. The second factor is that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to return to work as quickly as they previously thought. When those factors combine, a family’s comfort and security is put at risk.
Contact Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO
If you’ve been injured by a negligent surgeon, nurse, surgical technician, or someone else in the operating room, you can take legal action. With the help of an Omaha surgical error lawyer, you can seek compensation for your losses and work toward getting your life back in order. To learn more about how our law firm can help you and your family, reach out to our office.