Philadelphia Surgical Errors Lawyers

Surgical Error Claims

There is no such thing as a "routine" surgery, and every surgical procedure is accompanied by inherent risks. Yet patients have a right to reasonably expect that their surgeon will perform his or her duties properly and maintain the appropriate standard of care. Surgical errors that are caused by a medical professional's negligence should not be the cause of complications. In fact, thousands of preventable surgical errors occur every year, leading to serious medical complications and even death.

Like other types of medical malpractice, surgical errors can result in long-term or fatal injuries, leaving individuals and families with extensive medical bills and other expenses. Our Philadelphia surgical error attorneys at Golomb Legal represent victims of surgical errors and other forms of medical negligence as they pursue the financial compensation and justice to which they are entitled.

We Represent Cases Nationwide

Ready to move forward with your surgical error case? Request a free evaluation when you call (215) 278-4449.

Common Surgical Errors

Every surgical has its potential for risks, which is why most medical professionals only prescribe surgery as a last-case scenario. The chances of something going wrong and a patient getting injured only go up when surgeons and other medical professionals in the operating theater do not commit themselves to uphold the highest standards of medical care. From pacemaker placements to plastic surgery, all surgical procedures can become erroneous when there is negligence in the operating room.

Common surgical errors include but are not limited to:

  • Anesthesia errors: An anesthesiologist has the task of providing a surgery patient the correct amount of anesthesia to render them unconscious throughout the entire procedure. Too little anesthesia might cause the patient to wake up during surgery, which is as physically painful as it is psychologically damaging. Too much anesthesia can be fatal. Patients might also have an allergy to anesthesia, so patient records must be carefully checked before any surgery.
  • Catheter errors: Some surgical procedures require the use of a catheter to drain away bodily fluids. Surgery patients also frequently need catheters while hospitalized for aftercare. Using an unclean catheter can cause a dangerous infection. Incorrect catheter use can cause an unsafe buildup of fluids inside a patient’s body.
  • Damage to adjacent organs, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, etc.: An unsteady hand or incorrect use of medical tools can cause a surgeon to cut or otherwise damage nearby body parts while operating on a patient. The smallest nick to a nerve can cause permanent paralysis or disability. Ruptured arteries or veins can trigger fatal hemorrhaging.
  • Failure to monitor vital signs: One of the most important tasks within an operating room is to monitor the patient’s vital signs closely. At any moment within a procedure, vital signs can drop, and emergency methods to restabilize the patient must be used. Failing to watch and interpret vital signs, even for a minute, might jeopardize a patient’s health and constitute a form of medical malpractice.
  • Failure to prevent infection: After-surgery infections are a serious concern, especially among elderly patients or people with autoimmune system deficiencies. Surgeons need to be extremely thorough when sterilizing all equipment and cleaning wounds. Furthermore, doctors must also prescribe their patients antibiotics to take after surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Failure to properly place a medical device: Medical devices can only be safe and helpful when they are placed or implanted correctly. A common type of surgical error is the improper placement of a medical device. Even being a centimeter or less off the intended implantation site can be catastrophic for a patient. For example, hip implants that are slightly misplaced can cause the patient severe pain and immobility that can only be addressed with corrective surgery.
  • Foreign objects left in surgical site: Surgical instruments like gauze, tape, and even small scalpels can be forgotten inside a patient before their wounds are sewn shut and they are sent home. Many patients will experience unusual and painful symptoms for days or weeks before realizing that there could be a foreign object inside them due to a surgeon’s terrible mistake.
  • Surgery performed on the wrong site: As unthinkable as it might seem, surgeries are sometimes performed on the wrong body parts altogether. This mistake is the most drastic when the surgery includes an amputation. With a single error, a patient’s life with be dramatically changed and worsened forever.

Signs You May Have a Surgical Object Left in Your Body

Unintended retention of foreign objects (URFO) is far too common in the United States. Every year, thousands of people go in for an operation, only to later discover that their physician left a sponge, metal tool, or other surgical object inside their body.

Post-surgical object retention can lead to a number of painful physical symptoms. You may be experiencing the effects of an URFO if any of the following are true:

  • You have a fever greater than 101 degrees.
  • The skin surrounding your incision is discolored, warm, or irritated.
  • Your incision area is becoming swollen and sensitive.
  • You experience worsening fatigue.
  • Your stool changes dramatically in color or texture.
  • Your incision re-opens and your stitches begin to rip.
  • Your incision site is emitting an unpleasant odor.
  • Your breathing has become labored.
  • You are having difficulty eating or drinking without vomiting

Other unpleasant symptoms will occur if you have, indeed, retained a surgical object, including the need for corrective treatments, additional surgical procedures, and/or death. Should this happen to you or someone you love, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment as soon as you experience symptoms and take measures to hold the offending doctor accountable for the harm they have negligently inflicted upon you and/or your loved one.

Establishing Medical Negligence

While surgical errors are a frequent focus of medical malpractice lawsuits, a poor surgical outcome alone does not establish medical negligence. To demonstrate that a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional was negligent in committing a surgical error, it must be proven that the medical professional deviated from or failed to apply an accepted standard of care, and that your injuries were the direct result of their mistake.

This generally requires consulting with other surgeons or medical experts in a related field, who can determine whether accepted standards of practice were followed and whether or not the surgical error was the result of negligence. This can be an arduous task and one that requires a law firm with the experience and resources to properly investigate and hold negligent medical professionals responsible.

How Golomb LegalCan Help

Our firm's surgical error attorneys have the knowledge and resources to thoroughly research the circumstances surrounding your claim and collaborate with the appropriate medical specialists to ensure your case has a strong foundation. Every aspect of your surgery, including pre-op and post-op procedures will need to be evaluated and reviewed to determine if an error did occur. All too frequently, busy and overworked hospital staff and surgical teams cut corners or omit vital safety protocols that can have a critical effect on the outcome of the surgery and the patient’s prognosis for recovery.

If you or someone you love is injured due to a surgeon or medical professional’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against that professional. You can seek to recover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, long-term care, disability, pain & suffering, and other non-economic losses. Your attorney can ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact Our Philadelphia Surgical Error Lawyers

We believe in holding negligent surgeons, doctors, anesthesiologists, and nurses responsible for their errors and fight aggressively for all our injured patients and their families.

If you suffered an injury during surgery that you believe was caused by the negligence of a surgeon or other attending healthcare provider, please give our firm a call as soon as possible.

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