Samantha, an accountant in her early 40s, was diagnosed with a non-functioning right kidney. Upon weighing her options for treatment, Samantha decided to have her kidney removed to prevent any future damage.
Unfortunately for Samantha, her surgeon was a bit careless in his operation. Not only did he remove her right kidney, but also a portion of her pancreas and a large portion of her small intestines. The results, of course, were devastating.
Samantha proceeded to receive eight additional surgeries to repair the damage done by her initial surgeon. Although extensive measures were used, Samantha lost a great deal of her intestines. She was unable to return to work and will require partial total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for life, partial IV nutrition for life, as well as multiple medications for life due to this surgical error.
The above scenario is based on a true story and provides a great example of the harm that can come from a careless error made during surgery. Medical malpractice lawsuits result from a vast variety of negligent or careless mistakes from doctors, nurses, or a medical center. A surgical error such as this one can cause irreparable damage and future medical care that otherwise would have not occurred.What is a Surgical Error?
A surgical error happens when a member of a surgical staff makes a mistake and causes injury or death to a patient. When you go into surgery, you are anesthetized and alone, with only the hospital staff to protect you from harm. When these people drop the ball and allow injury or death to occur the pain is compounded.
While harmful surgical errors are rare, they do occur, and those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. By taking action against the medical professional liable in your situation, you can seek the justice you deserve and help see that he or she does not make similar mistakes in the future.
Research shows that roughly 40% of surgical errors led to permanent disability and approximately 23% resultant in death. Approximately 75% of the surgical errors included in the study occurred during the operation phase of surgical care.
System factors and mechanical error were shown to contribute to approximately 85% of the surgical errors. Some of these factors include ‘lack of’ or inexperience of technical competency, deficiency in supervision, failure in communication between either medical specialist/patient or clinician/clinician.
Approximately two-thirds of the appraised claims involved errors in surgical care. Technical error claims vs. non-technical error claims were considerably more likely to take place and to involve breakdowns at multiple levels with inexperienced staff and patient related factors acknowledged as casual factors.Causes of Surgical Error
While all surgeries include an innate threat of error, negligence on the part of the surgeon or medical staff can significantly increase the chance for surgical error. These include:
- Lacking pre-operative planning or care such as diet, medical history, health problems, medications and lifestyle choices, like smoking and drinking.
- Appropriated timing of the surgery
- Appropriate Site preparation
- Surgical instruments retained in wound
- Anesthesia complications occurring during procedure and/or post op
- Inadequately sterilized and decontaminated equipment
- Leaving in other unintended objects
According to a recent study by Harvard School of Public Health, the majority of surgical errors happen in routine operations under the guidance of experienced medical professionals. Surgical errors are not limited to intricate surgical procedures and happen on a daily basis.
Failure to operate and unnecessary surgeries are also surgical errors. Some of the most common preventable surgical errors are:
- Operating on the wrong site or wrong area of the body, such as, amputating the wrong foot, hand or finger
- Performing the wrong procedure on the wrong patient
- Making an preventable error during surgery or failing to correct an avoidable error
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a surgical error, please call Moseley Collins. Moseley specializes in winning medical malpractice cases in the cities of Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs. He has over 32 years of experience and has recently won a medical malpractice case that resulted in the largest settlement of its kind in the history of California. Call Moseley today for help.
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Sacramento, CA 95814
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