Tampa Surgical Mistake Lawyer
Surgeons have a difficult job, but it’s vital for surgeons, surgical assistants, and everyone else involved in medical operations to ensure they cause their patients no harm. When surgeons make mistakes that cause further injury to their patients, they may incur liability for medical malpractice. It’s important to note that a mistake does not automatically mean the doctor committed malpractice. The determining factor is negligence.
Whenever a patient undergoes a medical procedure, the medical staff performing the procedure must adhere to the accepted standard of care for that procedure. For malpractice to have occurred, the defendant must have fallen below the acceptable standard of care for that procedure. Surgeons and other medical professionals should act in a manner consistent with how a reasonable, equally skilled and trained professional would act in the same circumstances.
Types of Surgical Mistakes
Surgical mistakes can take many forms, some of which occur before or after procedures. A few common types of surgical mistakes include:
- Failure to obtain informed consent. Patients have the right to fully understand their treatment options, including the risks of any proposed methods of treatment. This is “informed consent,” and this concept exists to ensure patients can make fully informed decisions about their care. If a doctor fails to mention a significant risk of a particular procedure or does not fully explain the entirety of his or her treatment plan, this could be malpractice.
- Incompetence or lack of necessary skill. A surgeon who has little experience performing a procedure or has performed it in a classroom setting only is at a much higher risk of harming a patient.
- Poor planning. Many surgical procedures require extensive preparation to minimize risk to patients. When surgeons or surgical teams do not adequately prepare for procedures, they increase the risk of surgical errors.
- Poor postoperative care. Most surgeries require follow-up care. Failing to provide aftercare instructions or follow-up appointments could lead to malpractice liability.
- Doctor fatigue. Medicine is a demanding field, and many doctors work long hours. Eventually, fatigue sets in, and exhausted surgeons are more likely to make harmful mistakes.
- Substance abuse. Some doctors opt for alcohol and drug use to stave off exhaustion during long shifts or to cope with the inherent stress of the job. Obviously, this is dangerous for patients if a doctor decides to perform surgeries under the influence.
- Neglect. Simple errors like forgetting to sterilize surgical tools or properly monitor patient vital signs can cause devastating harm to patients.
- Anesthesia errors. Most surgeries necessitate some kind of anesthesia, and any errors during the procedure with either the anesthesia itself or the patient monitoring can have deadly consequences.
- Leaving surgical tools inside patients’ bodies.
- Damage during surgery requiring reconstructive or corrective action, such as nicking a vein, operating on the wrong body part, or damaging nerves.
These are just a few of the possibilities. If you believe that a surgeon or other medical professional made a surgical error that caused you pain or harm, it’s important to meet with an attorney to discuss your options.
Winning a Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex and often lead to intense legal battles. The Williams Law team is here to help injured patients in Tampa recover their losses after suffering injuries due to surgical errors. Many surgical mistakes lead to more surgeries to correct the damage, more pain, and more intensive recovery. Patients can secure compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income from time spent out of work.
Contact the team at Williams Law to schedule a free case evaluation. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a surgical error, meet with our team so we can assess your situation and let you know what kind of compensation to expect.