Any surgery, from cosmetic to life saving, is inherently risky, rife with dangers such as anesthesia errors and other forms of medical malpractice, not to mention the dangers associated with the surgery itself. While the risks of procedures have decreased over the years, patients can still be injured or killed during surgery. So how does one know if a surgery gone wrong is just an unfortunate incident or surgical malpractice? Contact a Philadelphia surgical error lawyer today.
Bad Luck vs. Surgical Malpractice
Even when everything is done correctly, patients can still be injured or killed during surgery. Medical surgeries have strict protocols regarding when and how they are performed. These protocols often help define the “standard of care.” When protocols are not followed and that standard of care is violated and damage results, it is surgical malpractice.
Causes of Surgical Malpractice
- Surgeons – Surgeons can be found liable if they are negligent during the surgery, i.e. performing surgery on the wrong body part, operating under the influence of a substance or operating while fatigued.
- Anesthesiologists – Many instances of surgical malpractice stem from anesthesia errors or failure to properly monitor a patient under anesthesia, which are the responsibility of the anesthesiologist.
- Surgical Nurses – Nurses who assist during a surgical procedure can be found liable if they are under the influence, fatigued, or fail to conduct appropriate post-surgical care.
- Hospitals – The hospitals can be found liable for injuries and death for not maintaining an appropriate surgical facility with equipment that is clean and working properly or not maintaining appropriate protocols to protect patients.
- Doctors – Doctors who incorrectly recommend surgery as a form of treatment can also be found liable.
Common Surgical Errors
- Incompetence- Surgery is a complex and competitive field, but when surgeons do not possess the latest skills and training, they can be guilty of surgical malpractice should they harm a patient.
- Poor planning – Just as in anything complex, planning is everything. Before a surgery is initiated all medical personnel involved should know the patient’s medical history, especially any information on allergies, bad reactions, and previous surgeries (if any). Only with this information can a surgery be properly evaluated and deemed worth the risk.
- Communication errors – We’ve all heard horror stories of incorrect surgeries being performed, such as the accidental removal of the healthy kidney as opposed to the faulty one. Also called wrong site surgery, these can be devastating and lead to serious injury, irreparable injury, and death.
- Surgical errors – Most patients do not know that all surgical equipment must be properly prepared before surgery AND be accounted for after a procedure to avoid errors such as leaving a sponge or other dangerous item inside the patient.
- Neglect – This happens when instruments and other equipment are not properly sterilized or maintained, which can lead to life-threatening conditions such as infection and septic shock.
Philadelphia Surgical Error Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as the result of surgical malpractice in Pennsylvania, contact our Philadelphia surgical error lawyer as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation. Time limitations apply to your potential claims, so do not delay in contacting a lawyer for help.