If you suspect that something went wrong with your surgery or that of a loved one, you might be considering a claim for medical malpractice. Since almost all surgery involves some level of anesthesia, you might not have a clear memory of what happened during the surgery. If you were under general anesthesia, you would have been unconscious at the time of the medical mistake. Even if you were not awake to witness what happened, it is possible to discover what went wrong through the medical and surgical records.
What Surgical Errors Can Lead to a Claim?
The National Quality Forum lists five categories of surgical never events that can occur during a surgical or invasive procedure. These are:
- Procedure on the wrong part of the body – For example, a healthy left kidney removed instead of malignant right kidney.
- Procedure on the wrong patient – For example, the surgeon performed a tonsillectomy on you instead of sinus surgery and did your sinus surgery on the tonsillectomy patient.
- Wrong procedure – Rather than a mix-up of the charts or ID bracelets of two patients, the surgeon simply did the wrong surgery on you. For example, you went in to have your appendix removed, but the surgeon mistakenly tied your tubes instead.
- Foreign object accidentally left in the patient after the procedure – The surgeon unintentionally left behind sponges, clamps, or other items he used during the surgery in your body.
- An ASA Class 1 patient dies during or shortly after surgery – The American Society of Anesthesiologists defines an ASA Class 1 patient as one who is a normal, healthy patient who does not smoke and does not abuse alcohol.
How Do You Prove Negligence and Liability for a Surgical Error?
Surgical never events are preventable medical mistakes. When one occurs, the medical professional responsible for the mistake is liable.
We will prove the negligence and liability by obtaining the medical records from the hospital or surgery center, the surgeon, your primary care physician, the anesthesiologist, the laboratory, and any other health care providers whose records are relevant to your claim. We will analyze your records to determine what went wrong in your surgery. We will work with medical experts to establish the negligence and liability of the person or persons who committed the mistake.
Do You Have to Hire an Expert Witness for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Yes. Florida law requires you to have a medical expert provide a verified written medical expert opinion that you have reasonable grounds to initiate a medical negligence action to file your malpractice lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Get for a Medical Malpractice Claim from a Surgical Error?
Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you can recover medical expenses, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, decreased earning potential, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional anguish from your medical malpractice action.
The medical malpractice team at the Montero Law Center is ready to help you with your medical malpractice claim. Call us today at 954-767-6500, and we will set up your free consultation.