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Surgical Errors

SURGICAL ERRORS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.
THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT A SURGICAL ERROR IS FIGURING OUT WHAT, EXACTLY, WENT WRONG.

The tendency that we see is for hospitals and medical providers to go into defensive mode following a surgical error, making things more difficult for the victim and the victim's family.

When you go into a hospital or increasingly a surgical center you have certain expectations. Among those is the expectation that the surgery will be free from preventable errors. Unfortunately this does not always happen.

Some of the more common surgical errors that we see involve the simple failure to pay attention.

These include some of the following cases:

  • Leaving behind a surgical sponge or surgical clamp, also known as a retained foreign object. Retained foreign objects often result in the development of infections and other complications, and nearly always require the patient to undergo a subsequent surgery;
  • Errors in removal of intubation devices, which can lead to severe problems including tears in arteries.;
  • Errors in placement or removal of heating pads or other devices, which can lead to severe burns;
  • Post surgical infections which, if left untreated, can lead to significant injury and death;
  • Medication errors;
  • Wrong-sited surgery which, although somewhat rare, occurs with more frequency than one might imagine;
  • Performance of unnecessary surgery;
  • Failure to follow up post-surgery.

Each of these errors can lead to serious injury or even death, and often by the time the patient recovers or the family gets involved it becomes quite difficult to get any answers from the hospital or staff.

Fortunately we have experience with these cases, and know how to get answers, which are key to determining whether any action may be taken against the hospital or surgical center.

WE ARE HAPPY TO HELP.

What damages can I recover?

A victim of hospital or surgical negligence is entitled to recover damages for a number of different things, including:

  • Pain and suffering from the date of the surgical error into the future;
  • Damages for any associated emotional distress;
  • Damages for any loss of income associated with the injury;
  • Damages for the value of any loss of services to the household or guidance to children.

How long do I have to bring a lawsuit?

The statute of limitations (or the amount of time allowed to bring a lawsuit) is generally 2 1/2 years in a case involving medical malpractice.  This can sometimes be extended in cases that only involve negligence (this is a technical argument that we do not advice relying on), and in rare situations involving retained foreign objects it may also be extended by what is known as the “discovery rule.”

 
 

If you or a family member has been a victim of a surgical or hospital error give us a call.

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