When you entrust your health to a licensed Indiana surgeon, you have the right to reasonably expect that he or she and all other care providers who are tending to your needs will act according to the highest level of accepted safety standards. In short, while there may be risks associated with a particular surgical procedure, you should have reason to hope that such care is going to help your health improve.
Sadly, many fatalities occur in hospital settings, including those caused by surgical negligence. As you prepare for surgery, you can expect your surgeon to discuss the procedure, including informing you of all known risks involved. If you suffer a post-operative condition that is common but that no one told you was a possibility, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You can be proactive by researching common surgical errors ahead of time and by knowing how to protect your rights.
Before you have surgery, you should know these things
Johns Hopkins researchers determined that approximately 200,000 deaths among 35 million hospital admissions in the U.S. every year occur in connection with medical errors. The following list includes common surgical errors that often lead to patient injury or illness:
- Poor communication: Your surgeon has an obligation to inform you regarding your surgery, both prior to the operation and during post-operation care. All medical staff members are also under obligation to communicate clearly with each other regarding your condition and any support being provided; failure to do so can be devastating.
- Electronic system malfunctions: So much of your care nowadays will center around computer systems and electronic equipment in the operating room and in recovery. If a piece of equipment fails, it can result in your injury.
- Failure to act: If your surgeon does not order a test when needed or fails to diagnose an adverse health event, or perhaps fails to recognize an emergency situation during your operation, the results may be catastrophic.
- Surgery mishaps: Surgeons have left foreign objects inside patient bodies, operated on the wrong patients, performed the wrong operations and have made other preventable errors that have left patients in worse conditions when leaving the hospital than they were when they arrived.
You can’t turn back the hands of time. If a surgeon or other medical professional is negligent, you may be helpless to avoid injury. However, why should you bear the burden of any financial impact such a situation may have on your family?
What you can do
In Indiana and other states, many surgical error victims have been able to recover their economic losses by filing medical malpractice claims in civil court. If you were to file a similar claim, you should know that it would be necessary to substantiate your claim in court; this is why it is critical to be able to support your allegations with evidence that medical negligence caused your injury.