Surgical and Anesthesia Errors
Surgery and anesthesia can take a tremendous toll on someone’s body both physically and emotionally. But when a preventable medical error causes even further pain or damage during a procedure, the effects can be catastrophic and life altering.
At the law firm of Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, our aggressive team of medical malpractice attorneys is committed to standing up for patients who have sustained injuries from medical negligence and errors. With over 40 years of experience successfully advocating in the best interests of our clients, we will fight back against the parties responsible for your injuries to seek the fair compensation you deserve.
Fighting Back For Patients
Every surgery is unique, and so are the medical errors that can occur during an operation. When medical mistakes are made due to negligence, they typically fall under one of the following categories of errors:
- Insufficient Planning: Surgeons and anesthesiologists should be prepared for their procedures. Preparation steps may include reviewing the patient’s medical history, reviewing the procedure, preparing for complications during the surgery, prepping the nurses and other medical staff involved in the surgery and reviewing equipment that needs to be readily available. When one or more of these steps are missed, medical errors can quickly put patients in harm’s way.
- Incompetence: When a surgeon agrees to perform a surgery, you would like to think they have performed it successfully in the past and know what they are doing. Unfortunately, some surgeons perform operations for which they are not qualified or lack the proper skills to perform them adequately. This puts the patient at serious risk of further injury and could lead to a failed procedure.
- Fatigue: Most medical professionals work long hours and late nights. Fatigue can cloud one’s judgment, similar to drinking and driving a car, and can lead to several lapses during a procedure.
- Poor Communication: When a medical team is not on the same page, errors are bound to occur. Poor communication between the surgeon and other staff members could result in missed information and incomplete records that lead to errors in medication dosage, improper use of anesthesia or the wrong plan being carried out during a surgical procedure.
- Rushing or Neglecting Safety Process: Doctors are busy professionals and may have more than one surgery scheduled in a day. Rushing through a procedure or deciding a medical step is unnecessary during surgery can have negative effects on a patient’s health.
- Drug and Alcohol Use: Surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and medical assistants do not have the type of jobs where it is acceptable to come into work under the influence. Operating while intoxicated puts patients at grave danger of further injury, infection, or death caused by serious medical errors and poor judgment.
There is never a good excuse for negligence during a surgical procedure. As quick as these mistake occur, the window for reporting hospital errors can also pass, leaving patients in physical, emotional and financial distress. If you believe you or someone you love has been a victim of medical negligence, calling an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice right away will help you determine if you are eligible for compensation due to your injuries.
What Is a Surgical Error?
Any preventable mistake made during surgery can be considered a surgical error. Before an operation can take place, a patient has to read the risks and agree to proceed. Surgical errors, however, are mistakes that fall outside of these agreed upon risks and are not up to the standard of quality of care medical professionals have sworn to provide.
Some examples of surgical errors include:
- Performing the wrong operation on the wrong patient
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Injuring a nerve during a procedure
- Performing an incision in the wrong location
- Leaving surgical tools and equipment inside of the body
- Administering too much medication or anesthesia
Sadly, not every surgical error results in an immediate and obvious consequence such as blood loss, puncture wounds, or death. Surgical mistakes that are made due to negligence or incompetence may not show signs that a problem exists until after the patient is in recovery and possibly even days, weeks, or longer after discharge. These symptoms include:
- Extremely sharp and intense pains near the surgical site
- Burning feeling
- Abdominal pain
- Redness or soreness by surgical site
- Swelling by the surgical site or other parts of the body
- Unexplained pain or discomfort
When medical errors are made due to negligence, doctors and other staff involved may not treat a patient effectively if they are trying to cover up their mistakes. Our team at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro is committed to exposing harmful medical errors that cause you pain and suffering after a procedure. We look at your medical records, the log of what staff was present and interview witnesses to determine what steps were missed or what mistakes were hidden in order to secure you the financial support you need to properly recover.
What Is an Anesthesia Error?
Anesthesia affects everyone differently. However, that is no excuse for medical errors that can be prevented by using proper safety protocols. There are three different types of anesthesia a patient can be administered before a procedure.
- Local Anesthesia– numbs only the party part being operated on.
- Regional Anesthesia– blocks pain sensors in the area of the body where the operation is taking place (e.g., cesarean section childbirth).
- General Anesthesia- a patient is unconscious during the procedure and feels nothing.
Anesthesiologists who make the following errors that cause harm to a patient could result in a lawsuit:
- Giving too much or too little anesthesia
- Administering the wrong type that could lead to an allergic reaction
- Delaying anesthesia delivery
- Using defective medication
- Failing to monitor the patient or their oxygen levels during surgery
Anesthesia is a very powerful medication that has the ability to result in dire consequences: traumatic brain injury, nerve damage, paralysis, heart attack, birth defects, stroke, coma, and death are all adverse reactions patients could potentially suffer when anesthesia errors are made during a procedure.
Call An Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Patients who are undergoing surgery are already at a vulnerable state before medical errors occur. At the law firm of Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, we understand the hardships patients endure after being injured or losing a loved one due to medical negligence. We are dedicated to providing the care and quality legal representation you deserve to seek justice for all damages sustained to allow you to focus on what’s most important- your recovery.
Let our team stand up to the negligent medical professionals and institutions that caused you unnecessary harm. Contact the law firm of Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro today for a free consultation to review your case and explore your options for seeking justice against medical negligence.