Surgical Errors Can Be Catastrophic Or Fatal
Surgery is one of the riskiest types of medical procedures by its very nature. In addition to the process of cutting open a patient, medical professionals must follow meticulous pre- and post-operative procedures to ensure patient safety. There is no question that some surgical injuries may be unavoidable. That said, the risk of surgical malpractice is hugely amplified when surgeons and anesthesiologists are negligent. Tragically, the injuries may be fatal.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury from a surgery, it is important to understand whether medical malpractice was involved. Get in touch with our team of lawyers to understand your rights, options and the compensation you may be entitled to receive. For a free consultation, please call us in Charleston at 866-228-4692.
Types Surgery Errors
Regardless of your surgical error injury, we at Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP, are prepared to bring our five-plus decades of combined experience to do everything to obtain the justice and compensation you deserve. We represent people in West Virginia in cases involving:
- Organ puncture or perforation
- Bowel perforation
- Spinal cord injuries in surgery
- Surgery on wrong organ, wrong site surgery or wrong side surgery
- Delayed surgery
- Prolonged surgery
- Failure to recognize post-surgical complications
- Retained foreign objects
- Paralysis after surgery
Because of the complexity of medical malpractice cases, it is extremely important to get in touch as soon as possible. We are prepared to reach out to our network of medical professionals to build the strongest possible case. The intensity we bring to investigation and discovery in building a case is only exceeded by our commitment to our clients’ well-being.
Methods Uses to Prevent Surgical Errors
Charleston, WV medical facilities have several incentives to improve patient care. Certainly, doctors and hospitals are concerned about their reputations. Medical professionals are also trying to prevent medical errors for financial reasons.
Settlements and damage awards generated by medical malpractice lawsuits can cost health care providers a lot of money.
The U.S. government is also changing how hospitals and doctors are evaluated for Medicare reimbursements. Half of Medicare funds will be based on the quality of patient care provided in 2018. A record of hospital or physician negligence places those funds at risk.
Up to 65 percent of all hospital adverse events – the medical community’s term for an unwelcome, often harmful patient outcome – are linked to surgeries, according a Patient Safety in Surgery report published in 2014.
So-called “never events” — errors that should never occur — can do a lot of damage when doctors operate on the wrong site or perform the wrong surgery. Leaving foreign objects in a patient’s body seems like a rare event. In fact, sponges, tools and other objects are forgotten and left inside patients on the average of about 39 times every week.
A university study examined the prevalence of never events in almost 10,000 patient cases over two decades. Never events caused temporary injuries among over 59 percent of patients. Almost 33 percent was permanently injured and another 6.6 percent died from mistakes that should have been prevented.
Many hospitals are now tracking surgical errors carefully, identifying problems and using information collected to improve patient care. Several hundred hospitals are combining adverse event data in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project, whose director claims can help prevent more than 100,000 unnecessary hospital deaths annually. Some medical professionals say the program yields remarkable results, while others remain skeptical.
Compensation is available through legal claims for patients who’ve been harmed by a never event or some other form of carelessness.