The United States is world renown for the quality of health care and medicine that is available to its residence. Every day, millions of Americans undergo surgical procedures to save and improve the quality of their life. Surgery is a practice that requires the utmost care and precision in order to be successful. Unfortunately, surgical procedures also come with a heightened risk of medical malpractice and because the patient is in the most vulnerable state, surgical malpractice can be one of the most devastating medical errors possible.
While there are inherent risks involved with any operation, surgeons and surgical nurses are still required to practice medicine in such a way that eliminates those risks as much as possible. If a member of the surgical member team fails in this duty and acts out of negligence, the patient can stand to sustain added injuries and worsened medical conditions. Surgical errors not only prevent the operation from being successful in its purpose, but it also brings additional complications that can be extremely harmful to the patient's health and well-being.
A surgical error is a mistake committed by a health professional during preparation or execution of a surgical procedure that causes additional harm to the patient. Common surgical errors include improperly administered anesthesia, unintended nerve damage and unsanitary surgical tools. Injuries from the operation room have also arisen due to administration errors that lead to operation on the wrong site, wrong side, wrong organ and even the wrong patient altogether. Such negligence should never happen because of dangerous these errors can be to the life of a patient.
A common assumption is that surgical errors occur most often during complicated and rare surgeries. However, studies show that a majority of malpractice cases involving surgical errors are from routine procedures. The National Practitioner Data Bank estimates that 80 surgical patients are made victim to medical errors that "should never happen" and 83% of those errors occur during simple procedures. These "routine" operations include gastric bypass surgery, childbirth, cardiothoracic surgery and breast augmentation. These are surgeries that are performed daily by doctors and yet, negligence and carelessness still cause injury to thousands of patients every year.
As mentioned before, surgery inherently carries risks that are unavoidable. However, that does not excuse negligence in the operation room. Doctors, nurses and medical technicians are held to an extremely high standard when it comes to surgical operations. When one of them falls short of their duty as a medical professional, they're negligence should be without consequences. When patients are hurt because of preventable errors, the health care professionals responsible owe them compensation for the pain and injury they caused.
In order to prove that a surgical error was the result of malpractice and not of an unavoidable circumstance, the injured party must show that a medical professional in similar circumstances with similar experience would have been able to avoid the mistake altogether. This proves that the actions of the defendant doctor were negligent and fell below the standard of care required by their field. Furthermore, the patient must have sustained actual added injury because of the mistake in order to claim damages. This means that an error that was corrected in time or that never had a physical impact on the patient's condition does not merit legal action for compensation.
There is never a time when a person is more at the mercy of another person than when they are lying on the operation table. We trust our surgeons to use care and precision when operating on us and our loved ones. When they disregard their duty to their patients and act out of negligence, the injuries they cause should be compensated for.
At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, we want to offer our legal experience in the field of personal injury and medical malpractice law to victims of surgical errors. We understand how serious these errors can be and that your livelihood has been jeopardized because of the negligence of a medical professional. We want to help you hold that doctor accountable for his or her failure towards you and claim the compensation that you are entitled to. If you sustained injuries because of a surgical error, contact a San Fernando Valley personal injury attorney from our office today to learn more about how we can work together to make this right.