Whenever someone goes to the hospital, whether for a routine procedure or emergency, they trust that they will receive the highest level of care possible. Usually, medical institutions, hospitals, and medical providers advertise a higher standard of care in an effort to gain the trust and business of the community. The amount of trust placed in a hospital could not be higher than when a patient undergoes surgery and places their life literally in a surgeon's hands. Not only does surgery itself have significant risks, but in most cases, the surgeon is responsible for correcting a medical problem. If the surgeon fails to do so, in many instances the patient must undergo additional surgeries to fix the original problem. This failure on the part of a surgeon can also result in death.
A recent study of surgical errors discovered that approximately 52 percent of the mistakes studied were due to technical errors.
During surgery, if the surgeon acts negligently and causes a patient to suffer an injury or further complications, he or she may be held liable for surgical malpractice. Whether or not they can be held responsible depends on if the surgeon performed the surgery the same as a reasonable surgeon would have under similar circumstances. If a surgeon does not perform surgery in this manner, and that failure results in patient injury, the surgeon can be held accountable for those injuries.
Types of Surgical Malpractice
There is a wide variety of kinds of surgical malpractice that can result in a patient suffering an injury or additional complication. These include but are not limited to the following examples:
- Anesthesia complications
- Causing other organs damage during surgery
- Delaying surgery too long
- Incorrectly performing the surgery
- Leaving surgical tools or other items inside of the patient
- Operating on the wrong part of a patient's body
- Using contaminated or unsanitary medical tools and/or equipment
Many of these errors will not cause a patient to suffer long-lasting damage. However, several of the errors may result in a patient requiring additional surgery, suffering serious medical consequences long-term, or may even lead to death.
Common Causes of Surgical Malpractice in Nebraska
A recent study of surgical errors discovered that approximately 52 percent of the mistakes studied were due to technical errors. Among these surgeries, about 49 percent of the errors resulted in a patient suffering permanent disabilities, with 16 percent resulting in death. Alarmingly, the majority of the surgical errors studied involved surgeries that were routine and conducted by experienced surgeons. The technical errors were largely related to complexities with the patient (61 percent), with 21 percent relating to technology or systems failure.
There are several steps that can be followed in order to reduce the number of surgical errors made by surgeons. Studies have found that many of the errors made during surgeries are largely preventable. The most common cause of surgeon negligence is the failure to operate within a proper scope of practice. If surgeons have the appropriate behavioral practices and systems of care in place, these can result in better patient care as well as safer surgeries. Implementing simple checklists before beginning an operation can be critical to ensuring fewer surgical errors occur.
Omaha Surgical Malpractice Lawyers Holding Negligent Surgeons Accountable
Have you been a victim of surgical malpractice in Omaha or elsewhere in Nebraska? If so, contact Cullan & Cullan LLC. Our Nebraska medical malpractice attorneys are also physicians, so we fully understand the responsibilities doctors and other medical professionals have in regard to their patients. We also have successfully handled a wide variety of medical malpractice cases, including a record $4 million dollar verdict that involved a physician who failed to remove a patient's precancerous polyps.
Our lawyers can carefully review your medical records to determine whether you have a viable claim. To learn more about protecting your legal rights, please call our law offices at (402) 882-7080 for a free consultation.