Pursuing Full Compensation For Victims Of Surgical Errors
Surgical errors, while infrequent, do occur. These mistakes can have catastrophic emotional and physical repercussions. In some cases, negligence during surgery results in an error that leaves the patient with lifelong consequences, such as an amputated limb. These mistakes may also result in death. Like other areas of medical malpractice law in Indiana, the legal requirements to prove surgical negligence and malpractice are very strict.
At Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., our attorneys candidly evaluate the strength of your case and aggressively pursue your malpractice claim. If you have suffered a surgical error because of a hospital’s or physician’s negligence, we provide knowledgeable and compassionate advice about your legal options and serve as your staunch advocate throughout the duration of your case.
When Does Surgical Risk Become Medical Malpractice?
All surgery involves risk, and a patient must understand those risks when considering an operation. For example, all surgery carries the risk of infection, excessive bleeding and even death. The occurrence of a mistake during surgery does not necessarily qualify as medical malpractice. According to Indiana state law, it is not necessarily medical malpractice when a physician makes a mistake, but rather when the physician fails to recognize and correct the error within a reasonable time frame and the delay results in serious injury to the patient.
In surgical malpractice cases, hospital negligence during surgery results in a preventable and serious injury to the patient or in death. Common mistakes that are grounds for medical malpractice claims include:
- Surgery performed on the wrong limb — Though somewhat rare, there are documented cases each year of surgeons performing surgery on the wrong limb, such as amputating the right leg instead of the left one. This type of error reflects a lack of adherence to standard protocols and can be deemed negligence.
- Surgical instruments or equipment left inside the patient — A disturbingly common error, sometimes surgical implementation, such as scalpels or clamps, are accidentally left in the patient’s body. This act of negligence often results in infection or pain that may go unresolved or be misdiagnosed for some time.
- Anesthesia mistakes— During surgery, the anesthesiologist is responsible for closely monitoring the patient to ensure that the accurate dosage of anesthesia is being administered. Negligence in this regard may result in brain damage or death.
- Nerve, organ or arterial damage —This type of injury can occur if a surgeon inadvertently severs or nicks a nerve bundle, organ or artery during surgery. The failure of the surgeon to quickly notice and correct this error may result in paralysis, organ failure or death.
- Post-surgical complications — Failure to monitor the patient in post-op or failure to diagnose life-threatening conditions such as sepsis, internal bleeding, stroke or heart attack can lead to brain damage, organ failure, paralysis or fatality, may constitute malpractice.
A patient assumes a certain amount of risk in every surgery. But surgical errors resulting from negligence or procedural incompetence, particularly those that result in amputation or wrongful death, are beyond the scope of normal risk. If you have suffered a serious injury or amputation because of a surgical error, our attorneys can provide sound legal guidance. We answer your questions about your rights under Indiana law and offer vigorous representation should you decide to pursue legal action to recover monetary compensation.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Lawsuit
Our downtown Indianapolis law firm is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with night and weekend hours available by appointment. We also offer home and hospital appointments by request and work on a contingency fee structure. Our office is easily accessible by public transportation, with free parking.