Surgical Error Lawyers in Dallas
A recent study released by the Department of Health and Human Services along with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality stated that medical malpractice, particularly surgical errors, cost the United States an estimated $1.5 billion each year. These mistakes cost our healthcare system such a great amount of money mostly due to litigation over these mistakes, but the answer to decreasing the cost of surgical errors is not to limit litigation, but rather to go to the root of the problem to ensure that surgeons are not making these costly mistakes at all.
In this same study, it was estimated that ten percent of patients who die after they are released from the hospital (maximum 90 days after surgery) are killed due to hospital error. Sadly enough, the effects of surgical errors don't just stop once the patients are discharged from the hospital. These statistics came from a study of a small pool of patients (nearly 200,000 of them), but the results are still a good indicator of the severity of medical malpractice in our nation today.
Common Surgical Errors
"Wrong-side" surgery is one of the most common types of surgical error. Believe it or not, many surgeons can actually operate on the wrong organ or limb. For example, it is not unheard of for surgeons to operate on the healthy kidney while leaving the diseased one behind. Ultimately, it is up to your doctor to ensure that this doesn't happen, but there are some steps that patients can take as well. Talk extensively with your doctor about your condition before surgery, in order to familiarize them you're your ailment even further.
Some people even take a pen or marker and mark the correct limb to operate on. Leaving behind a medical device is another common form of error. Gauze, scalpels and other tools can be left inside the body cavity even after the patient has been stitched up. Making a wrong incision is also common. Internal bleeding, if left unchecked, can lead to death. The smallest incisions can go unnoticed for long periods of time, but these cuts can cause the most damage.
Surgical Mistake vs. Surgical Complication
Surgical complications are common, but they are different than surgical mistakes. A doctor may not be held liable for injuries or death of a patient if the procedure was inherently dangerous or if there was already a high risk of incident associated with the surgery. To give an example, patients that are overweight are at a high risk of encountering complications during surgery. In these scenarios, surgeons likely would not be held liable for an injury or death. The trouble is, many hospitals do not report surgical errors or other types of medical malpractice, but rather mark those incidents down as mere accidents or complications.
When to Involve an Attorney
Determining whether or not a surgical incident was caused by negligence or mere complication is a difficult question to answer. For this reason, patients and their loved ones should consider procuring legal help from a medical malpractice attorney. At Zinda Law Group, we understand the devastation that follows these cases. We are passionate in assisting families and victims so that they can get justice. If a surgical incident was caused by a doctor's negligence, then we will fight to find and prove that negligence. Even some cases of complications can result in malpractice lawsuits. This can happen when doctors fail to warn patients of the possible risks associated with the procedure. To learn more about medical malpractice, surgical errors and the legal steps that you may be able to take, please contact our office today to speak with a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney!