When it comes to surgery, there really is no such thing as a minor or simple procedure. Sure, some surgeries may be more complicated than others, but all surgeries are serious in nature and require professional medical attention before, during, and after being performed. It does not matter if you are having a tooth pulled or a quadruple bypass surgery performed, it should be done without error.  If a surgical error does occur, this likely means you are entitled to some form of monetary compensation. Let’s take a look at what constitutes a surgical error and medical malpractice.

If you have been injured as a result of what you feel may be medical malpractice, you may need a seasoned attorney on your side.  Based in Pikeville, KY, medical malpractice attorney Billy Johnson believes that people whose negligence results in harm to others should be held accountable.  This includes paying compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and, in the event of a fatal surgical error, wrongful death.  A proven advocate with over 15 years of experience, Billy has made it his life’s work to help people throughout Kentucky.  If the information here sounds like a situation that you or a loved one has experienced, call for a free, no-obligation case review at 1-855-433-7532.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Just because a surgical error has occurred does not necessarily mean that a particular party is liable for medical malpractice. In order to fall under the definition of malpractice, the level of care that was provided must be below the accepted medical standard of care and you must have suffered harm from the sub-standard treatment.

Standard of care refers to both the level and type of care that you would ordinarily receive from a prudent health care professional with proper training and experience to perform the procedure under similar circumstances in the same type of community.

Understanding Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are avoidable mistakes. It is important to note that all surgeries do involve some degree of risk, which is why patients are asked to sign a form before going in for the surgery in which they acknowledge that there is risk involved. This is known as “informed consent.” A surgical error, however, goes beyond the risks of the surgery that are known. When a surgical error takes place, it is unexpected and could have been avoided.

What are the Causes of a Surgical Error?

There are several possible causes of surgical errors. And since no two surgeries are exactly the same, potential errors will also be unique. Some of the most common causes of surgical errors are as follows:

Improper work process: Surgeons have been known to skip over certain steps during a surgical procedure because they don’t deem them necessary; however, when this happens, if an error occurs, this is grounds for the error to qualify as medical malpractice. Surgeons should always follow all surgical protocols and should never deem some steps as unnecessary.

Drugs/alcohol: Those performing surgeries are sometimes under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Many physicians who turn to these substances do so to lessen their stress levels, but being intoxicated while performing surgery greatly increases the chances that a surgical error will occur, and if it does, this will qualify the error as medical malpractice.

Incompetence: Some doctors simply do not have the experience needed to perform certain procedures, or if they do, it is at the minimal level of required experience. Incompetence during a surgical procedure can lead to fatal results.

Poor communication: Communication mistakes between physicians and nurses can also lead to surgical errors. From marking the wrong site for surgery to not having all of the required surgical equipment on hand during the surgery, these mistakes can lead to errors that are deemed as medical malpractice.

Fatigue: Another common cause of surgical errors and medical malpractice is fatigue. Physicians often work long hours, but this is why it is all the more important that they follow a strict sleep schedule. If fatigue leads to a surgical error and you are harmed by the error, you likely have a case that will qualify as medical malpractice, meaning you will be owed compensation.

If you have been harmed by a surgical error, it is imperative that you contact a qualified attorney who has experience in handling medical malpractice cases.  At the Johnson Law Firm, we have won numerous settlements and verdicts for Kentucky residents who were the victim of medical errors.  If you or your loved one suffered harm in a medical procedure, we will be glad to review the facts of your case at no charge and discuss your options for obtaining compensation.  Located in Pikeville, Kentucky, we serve all areas of the Bluegrass State.  Contact us by calling 1-606-433-0682 or by filling out our online form.