Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Surgical mistakes make up a significant portion of these incidents. It is hard to believe some of these errors happen. But many operating rooms are chaotic places, especially in a trauma or emergency room. Many doctors and nurses are working together under extreme pressure for the very first time. When viewed this way, it’s easy to see how these mistakes happen.
Compensation in medical malpractice cases is often substantial for two main reasons. First, the doctor-patient duty is very high. When doctors take shortcuts, patients almost always suffer. Second, medical and surgical mistakes are easy to prevent. The callousness which accompanies many of these incidents drive jurors to award large damages.
These damages usually include money for medical bills and other economic losses, as well as pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. In some cases, a damages cap may apply.
These mistakes are the most frequent and most dangerous type of surgical error in Winnebago County.
Prior to the initial consultation, anesthesiologists must painstakingly review patient medical records. Some people are allergic to certain medicines and other people take medications that do not mix well with anesthetics. Unfortunately, that painstaking review is usually more like a cursory examination.
The anesthesiologist must consider a number of factors when determining medication dosage. Too high and the patient may not wake up after surgery and suffer permanent brain damage. Too little, and the patient may wake up during the procedure and experience a nightmare of pain and suffering.
Most surgical procedures are incredibly delicate. A slight flick of the wrist could cause a permanent injury.
These injuries often go undiagnosed. Many doctors ascribe pain or loss of function to postoperative soreness. Only several weeks later, after the damage has progressed, do they properly diagnose nerve damage. By that time, effective non-surgical treatment may be almost impossible. So, the patient must undergo painful and expensive revision surgery.
Wrong Surgical Site
In most cases, it’s good to have two arms, two lungs, two eyes and so on. But in a chaotic medical environment, these biological redundancies could cause serious problems.
Many busy doctors operate on the wrong organ or body part, mostly because of intense pressure from administrators to rush through these procedures. Quite often, especially if the surgery involved an internal organ, no one knows about the error until the follow up surgical visit, which could be days or weeks later.
As shocking as it sounds, this mistake happens. In March 2018, some doctors at one of the most advanced hospitals in Nairobi performed brain surgery on the wrong patient.
Damages are especially high in these cases. It is extremely easy to simply look at the cart and verify the patient’s name. But many single-minded doctors are focused solely on the task at hand and they do not pay attention to detail – like patient identity. Other times, someone in hospital administration made a mistake, but the doctor is ultimately responsible for most of these errors.
Foreign Objects Left in the Body
This mistake seems shocking as well, but like operating on the wrong body part or the wrong patient, it does happen.
Especially if the procedure does not go exactly as planned, instruments like sponges and clamps are sometimes unaccounted for. Once again, no one usually knows about the mistake until a postoperative X-Ray, and that could be weeks or months after the surgery.
Count on Dedicated Attorneys
Medical mistakes kill or seriously injure thousands of patients. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.