If you must undergo surgery, and you trust your hospital, doctor, and surgeon to provide you with the high-quality medical services that you need. If instead of moving forward toward improved health after surgery, you come away with injuries caused by a surgical error, it can be devastating. Medical facilities and medical personnel are professional healthcare providers who are held to specific standards for very important reasons. If you’ve been injured by a surgical error, your compensation matters and you need the help of an experienced Fargo medical malpractice attorney.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Healthcare facilities and providers are charged with providing medical care that falls within the safety parameters of what other reasonable medical practitioners and/or facilities would do in similar circumstances. If your surgeon or the facility where your surgery is performed doesn’t conform to these standards and you are injured as a result, it is considered to be medical malpractice. These claims are usually extremely complicated, but your rights and rightful compensation are too important to leave to chance, and an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help.
Some surgical errors are so egregious that they are deemed “never events” (or “sentinel events”) because they should never have happened in the first place. Never events typically include specific and blatant surgical errors, such as:
- When a surgeon performs an operation on the wrong patient
- When a surgeon performs the wrong operation on a patient
- When a surgeon performs the correct operation but does so on the wrong body part
Such errors are obvious examples of things that should never happen in any hospital, but nevertheless, sometimes do happen.
Responsibility for Surgical Errors
If a surgical error of any kind has left you injured, you may assume that responsibility for the error rests solely on the surgeon who operated on you. While your surgeon almost certainly shoulders some of the responsibility, it doesn’t always end there. When errors happen during surgery, it can be indicative of a breakdown in the medical facility’s safety protocols. These protocols amount to a network of checks and balances which help ensure that every surgery proceeds safely and without significant errors.
Surgical mistakes can be precipitated by nearly any healthcare provider who plays a role in your surgery, including the doctor who prescribed the surgery, your anesthetist during the surgery, and any other attending medical personnel. When apportioning responsibility for surgical errors, a variety of providers can be involved, and this includes the healthcare facility itself.
Allocating Responsibility for Never Events
When it comes to surgical never events, it is worth taking a closer look at where responsibility should lie. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that these devastating surgical mistakes known as WPSEs (wrong-procedure, wrong-patient, wrong-site errors) are often the result of a breakdown in communication on the path from initial diagnosis to final surgery. As such, responsibility for these tragic errors is often shared by multiple healthcare providers (who should crosscheck the medical proceedings every step of the way) and the hospital itself.
The Damages Associated with Surgical Errors
Going through surgery – even when it is vital to your health – is always a difficult process. When surgery involves a surgical error that leaves you injured, it can be devastating. Not only have you undergone a serious, invasive procedure but you’ve also emerged with additional injuries. The consequences of such an error are difficult to overstate:
- The immense medical expense associated with recovering from a surgical error
- The hours and wages lost on the job
- The loss of earning potential – and even the loss of career – if the injury is serious and overarching
- The vast pain and suffering associated with being injured by a medical professional’s error while undergoing a surgical treatment (that you trusted would help return you to health)
Surgical errors can lead to long-lasting and even permanent (especially if the error is a never event) losses. The long road back to health is nearly impossible without recovering on your damages. If you’ve been injured by a surgical error, you are entitled to the compensation you need to help you successfully navigate toward as complete a recovery as possible.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Surgical Error, Contact an Experienced Fargo Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Undergoing surgery is never easy, but if you are injured by a surgical error in the process, you need experienced legal counsel. Surgical errors can be especially difficult to overcome, but recovering for your damages is the best path forward. The dedicated medical malpractice attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo are here to help. Our experienced legal team is committed to aggressively advocating for the compensation to which you are entitled. If a surgical error has left you injured, please call our office at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) or email one of our skilled and compassionate medical malpractice attorneys – Tatum O’Brien, Tim O’Keeffe, or Sara Monson – today.