Surgical Mistakes

Negligent Surgical Mistakes Require the Help of a Cook County Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Each year, millions of people require surgical procedures. The majority of patients are anxious and uneasy leading up to their surgeries, regardless of whether the procedure is performed in a fully staffed hospital or outpatient surgical center. Usually, surgeries happen without incident, but when surgical mistakes are made, negligence may be to blame, and the expertise of a Cook County medical malpractice lawyer may be needed.

There are always risks involved with surgery, whether the procedure is scheduled or is an emergency procedure to save a life. When able, surgeons are legally required to advise their patients of the risks, and the patient signs a consent form prior to surgery. Even though a majority of operations occur without complications, patients still can suffer needless and avoidable injuries due to surgical errors. If patients survive the surgery, they can leave the hospital in worse medical shape than before the procedure.

Medical Malpractice in the Operating Room

When a surgeon or other medical professional in the operating room fails to meet the high legal duty of acceptable medical care normally expected from peers under the same or similar circumstances, negligence may be the reason for this breach of duty. Surgical errors due to negligence are preventable, but time and again, they still occur in any routine elective surgery or in hospital emergency rooms. When it happens, surgical medical malpractice can cause grim and destructive injuries to innocent victims before, during or after such procedures, which can include:

  • Loss or deformation of limbs
  • Post-operative infections
  • Disability
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death

Examples of Surgical Mistakes

Surgical errors are a prominent cause death and serious injury. There are many circumstances during surgery that can lead to a negligent error, and serve as a basis for a medical malpractice claim being filed against the surgeon, individual members of his or her operating team and in some cases, even the hospital if it an investigation reveals its administrative procedures played a part in the tragic injury. Sometimes malpractice may be present when a doctor fails to inform a patient of the risks and all foreseeable outcomes – good and bad – of the surgery. Other instances of surgical negligence can include:

  • Anesthesiology errors
  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Surgical instruments left inside a patient
  • Unsterilized surgical instruments
  • Perforation of healthy organs
  • Medication errors
  • Miscommunication among the surgeon and operating team

Your Legal Rights When Surgical Malpractice Happens

All patients have the right to decide what sort of medical procedures they will undergo, including surgical procedures. For patients to make the right choices, doctors are legally obligated to share with patients all relevant information necessary to make “informed decisions.” Doctors must do this so the patient fully understands the benefits and risks. Once this is done, the patient signs a consent form that states he or she has been fully informed and agrees to the procedure. This is a very important point that comes into play if an error in the operating room subsequently occurs.

When faced with a surgical malpractice claim or lawsuit, the defendant’s insurance company often relies on the signed patient consent form as “blanket immunity” when defending clients. But if the injured plaintiff’s Cook County medical malpractice lawyer properly investigated the event and discovers any negligence-based errors like those listed in the previous section, the defendant’s informed consent defense is often exposed.

If you are the victim of surgical malpractice, Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced attorneys and investigators offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or by using our online contact form.