Entering into a hospital for any type of procedure can be overwhelming. It’s important for the medical staff around you to be knowledgeable and kind, so they can answer your questions and ease your concerns. In most cases, once you’re under anesthesia you won’t have any recollection of the procedure. If you wake up and discover something has gone terribly wrong, you may learn negligence was the cause. If you’ve suffered injuries because of a surgeon or hospital mistake, our Albuquerque surgical error lawyers may be able to help you seek the compensation you need to recover.
According to a study published in Surgeon by a group of doctors from Johns Hopkins University, thousands of surgical mistakes happen every year—at least 4,000 times. Referred to as “never events,” because they should never happen, mistakes in the operating room can have a lifelong impact on patients and their families. Filing a medical malpractice claim against the reckless party with the help of Buckingham Barrera Law Firm can secure your future.
Surgical Error Examples
Surgeons or other medical staff assisting with a procedure need to diligent, cautious, and well-informed before completing any part of a patient’s operation. This includes pre-operative and post-operative care. When mistakes happen, permanent disabilities or even fatalities are a possibility.
If you’re building a medical malpractice claim against a negligent medical provider or facility, you’ll need to have a comprehensive understanding of how you were injured and why. There are a number of common surgical errors we see clients deal with. Some of them include:
- Anesthesia Errors. The anesthesiologist who administers medications during your procedure must do so with the utmost certainty. Anesthesia mistakes are serious and one of the leading causes of surgical error fatalities. This is because if too much anesthesia is given, the patient’s brain may not receive enough oxygen—which can result in brain death. If too little is given, there are risks the patient could wake up during surgery. Not only could this result in significant pain, but it could be psychologically traumatic.
- Wrong Patient Surgery. Prior to every medical procedure, the involved staff members are supposed to verify the identity of the patient. If they neglect to do so, there’s a chance the patient could receive the wrong surgery. As a result, a healthy organ could be removed or someone could be put through a procedure that’s too much for their body to handle.
- Wrong Site Surgery. Just like with verifying identity, the surgery the person is having is also supposed to be verified. If, for example, a physician marks the incorrect limb, a person could lose a perfectly healthy arm or leg. The shock when they wake up will be severe, and it’s likely they’ll still need to have the correct surgery to fix their health problem.
- Nerve Damage. Surgeons are supposed to have the steadiest hands on the planet. In the event a scalpel slips even a fraction, the patient could suffer from nerve damage—which could result in a lifetime of pain.
- Foreign Objects Left in Patient’s Body. Far too often, surgeons and surgical techs leave scalpels, pads, gauze, or clamps inside patients’ bodies. This not only results in extreme pain, but severe or fatal infections can develop. The patient will need additional surgeries to remove the objects, which will extend their predicted recovery time.
Consequences of Mistakes in the Operating Room
A surgical error can affect you in more ways than one. While it’s common to think of the physical pain and complications first, there’s also the chance for emotional trauma and unexpected financial costs.
If you experience intense, sharp pains near your surgical site, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, or redness and swelling near the surgical wound, it’s imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible. While it’s normal to experience some discomfort and pain after surgery, the symptoms above are normally indicative of a bigger issue. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the less severe the consequences are likely to be.
When a procedure doesn’t go as planned because of a surgeon’s negligent actions, a patient may experience anger, frustration, depression, and anxiety about the future of their health and the potential for more surgeries. Any level of psychological trauma can result in the need for professional help.
If a surgery was performed incorrectly, it’s likely another procedure will need to happen in the future. Prior to any major procedure, the patient probably made financial plans. Even with insurance, surgeries are expensive. If an unplanned procedure needs to take place because of a medical provider’s negligence, it’s unlikely the procedure will be performed for free. Recovery can be even more challenging when medical debt is involved.
Recovering Compensation for Surgical Error Injuries
With any personal injury, it’s likely you’re dealing with economic and noneconomic damages. Economic losses include medical bills, lost wages, cost of future care, and funeral and burial expenses—in the event of a wrongful death. Those damages are generally easier to calculate because they’re based on real dollar amounts. Noneconomic damages are harder to determine, as they’re based on losses like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
It’s important to note that New Mexico sets limits on medical malpractice awards. The limits apply mostly to noneconomic damages and certain economic damages like the future cost of medical bills. In regard to the noneconomic damage limit, the amount is $600,000. While there is no specific dollar limit on economic damages, the state limits the payment of future medical bills to amounts actually incurred. This means that the plaintiff can only receive compensation for bills received, not speculative amounts.
Your lawyer will work to ensure you receive the compensation you need to move forward from what you were wrongfully put through.
Discuss Your Legal Options in Albuquerque Today
If you’re looking to expedite your recovery, filing a personal injury claim for your injuries is the easiest way to do so. We understand the challenges that come with taking legal action while recovering from unexpected injuries. That’s why our Albuquerque surgical error lawyers will handle your claim for you.
If your injuries resulted from a negligent surgeon, surgical tech, or another medical care provider before, during, or after an operation, holding the negligent party responsible will ensure you have the compensation you need to recover and discourage them from acting in a similar way in the future.
Surgical error claims take time because of the evidence needed to prove negligence. The sooner you get started, the better your chances are of receiving a full and fair monetary award. Contact our law firm today to learn more about your legal rights and options.