Millions of people decide each year that surgery is the best option for their particular situation. These people trust their doctors and literally put their lives into the hands of their physicians. However, a surgical error can leave a patient with permanent complications, devastating injuries and even result in death. All surgical procedures have a degree of risk. The patient typically consents to the surgery once he/she is informed of the risk(s) versus likely benefits(s). Known complications and many negative outcomes are not considered medical malpractice. When a surgeon fails to meet the required standard of care resulting in injury (or death), concerns of medical malpractice need to be investigated. In many instances, surgical errors are preventable.
Despite advancements in medical technology, surgical errors are alarmingly common. According to the Institute of Medicine, almost 100,000 hospital patients die each year as a result of some form of medical negligence.
Common Surgical Procedures
- Childbirth (e.g. caesarean section)
- Abdominal surgery
- Gastric bypass
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Cardiothoracic surgery
- Cosmetic surgery
- Gynecological surgery
- Orthopedic surgery
- Opthamalic surgery
All of the stages from diagnosis to treatment to recovery can result in some type of error, including:
- Technical errors
- Failure to prevent injury
- Medication errors
- Injury during surgery
- Failure to timely recognize/treat infection
Data figures from the Institute of Medicine revealed that an estimated 632 to 1,407 preventable deaths occur each year in Kentucky. Surgical errors can have many costs. Victims and their families often have to endure enormous medical expenses and other devastating consequences, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Corrective surgeries
- Extended and/or more difficult recovery
- Nerve and/or organ damage
- Complications from internal bleeding
- Scarring or disfigurement
Patients who have suffered from medical negligence resulting from a surgical error have legal rights, including the right to ask that the responsible individual or organization be held accountable.
A statute of limitations does exist for filing medical malpractice cases, so contacting an attorney should be a top priority if you or a loved one has suffered a surgical error. If you live in Kentucky and are looking for an experienced lawyer to investigate your concerns, contact the Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at the office of Brett H. Oppenhiemer, PLLC for a free consultation.