Kansas City Surgical Error Lawyer
Our healthcare providers have a legal obligation to keep us safe while we are under their care. When a violation of a care standard leads to patient harm, it may be the result of medical malpractice. While there are several ways in which medical malpractice can occur, surgical errors are one of the most common. Learn how to recognize a surgical error and how a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer can help you.
Surgery Errors and Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a provider’s action or inaction leads to a potential or actual harm in a patient. It’s important to note that malpractice is more than a simple diagnostic error but the presence of negligence. To prove medical malpractice, all of the following must apply:
- You must have an in-office relationship with the provider.
- That provider must violate his or her duty of care or commit negligence. Healthcare providers violate their duty of care when they do something another similarly trained provider would not, given the same circumstances (or vice versa).
- That negligence directly led to injury, illness, or a poorer health outcome.
- Your injuries led to specific damages, such as medical bills or lost wages.
Types of Surgical Errors
Undergoing a surgical procedure can be stressful. You must put your full trust in your provider, so it can be shocking when things don’t go as planned. Surgical errors range from mild discomforts to lifelong complications. Here are some examples of surgical errors:
- Errors during medication administration, for example, anesthesia errors
- Performing an incision in the wrong area
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Damaging a nerve during a procedure
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Leaving surgical equipment inside the body
Why Do Surgical Errors Happen?
No two surgeries are exactly alike, so a surgical error may arise from any number of factors. There are some factors, however, that are more common than others, including:
- Sometimes, a surgeon simply lacks the skill to perform the procedure effectively.
- Insufficient planning. Operations require careful preoperative practice and planning. Perhaps your surgeon didn’t prepare adequately or practice the maneuver enough times before performing it in surgery.
- Poor communication. A surgeon must effectively communicate with the anesthesiologist, nurses, and support staff during surgery. A breakdown in communication can lead to errors and complications.
- Violation of best practices. Surgeons may cut corners or eschew best practices to cut surgical time. It sounds strange, but it happens.
- Surgeons often work long hours and may experience fatigue as a result. If your surgical mistake was due to surgeon fatigue, the hospital that employs him or her may be to blame.
- Drugs and alcohol. Although rare, surgeons may commit errors if they operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When to Contact an Attorney
There is a difference between a simple error in judgment and medical malpractice. Recognizing the difference requires experience and expertise. If you believe you have been the victim of surgeon malpractice, contact our office for a free initial consultation. Let us review the facts of your case and help you decide if you have legal grounds for a medical malpractice claim.