Undergoing surgery for any reason is a daunting and stressful experience. This is especially true if a patient requires cardiothoracic surgery due to a serious illness. In this case, every patient hopes they have selected the right surgeon for the job. Unfortunately, a moment of negligence by a surgeon can ensure that a patient suffers a long-term or even permanent injury. If you or a family member was the victim of a surgical error, you should consult with an experienced Maryland cardiothoracic surgical error attorney.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras is here to fight for you against a surgeon whose negligence caused you to suffer a severe injury. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291. You can also contact us online.
Common Cardiothoracic Surgical Errors
Cardiothoracic surgery is a form of surgery that is performed on a person’s torso (thorax). Specifically, cardiothoracic surgery can be performed on a person’s esophagus, lungs, ribs, chest wall, and even on a person’s organs.
The thorax is an area of the body where a person has many sensitive organs. As a result, a surgeon should be sure to exercise caution when performing any type of procedure in the thoracic region. However, some patients are not provided with the care they deserve. The following is a list of common cardiothoracic surgical errors that can affect a patient.
When performing cardiothoracic surgery, a surgeon will have to make use of a number of surgical tools from scalpels and scissors to retractors. When utilizing these surgical instruments, it is vital that a surgeon make cautious and correct incisions to avoid perforating an organ. This could lead to a patient suffering severe organ damage or internal hemorrhaging.
Under other circumstances, a doctor could make an unsafe incision that results in the cutting of a nerve, which could result in a loss of sensation in certain areas of the body.
Retained Surgical Instruments
Prior to performing a cardiothoracic surgery, a surgical team should start a checklist of all instruments that may or will be used during the surgery. The purpose of this checklist is to ensure that no instruments are left inside the body of the patient. Failure to have a checklist or consult with the checklist could mean that a patient has an instrument like a sponge or even a scalpel left inside their body.
Retained surgical instruments are often difficult to discover if they do not immediately cause a patient pain or discomfort. In some cases, a patient may have a surgical instrument in their body for so long that it began to grow into the tissue. If this happens, extensive surgery may be required to correct the problem.
Poor Postoperative Care
Postoperative care is an important part of every surgical procedure. A patient should be aware of how to manage their wounds and any other risks that may be a result of the surgery. If a doctor fails to provide proper post-operative care to a patient, they could be held liable if a patient develops an illness or infection after the procedure.
There are other causes of cardiothoracic surgical errors that are not listed above. If you suffered a different type of injury, you should contact an experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your claim.
When to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Maryland
If you were injured during cardiothoracic surgery, you should seek compensation against the surgeon or other medical staff responsible for your injuries. Every medical malpractice claim is subject to the statute of limitations. This statute determines the length of time that a person has to file a particular type of lawsuit.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice can vary under the circumstances. For example, a claimant may only have three years from the date they discovered the injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is helpful if a defendant suffered a retained surgical instrument injury that was not immediately discovered. All other medical malpractice claims can be filed within five years of the date the injury was caused.
If you fail to file your claim within the given timeframe, the defendant could successfully motion for the court to dismiss your claim. This may leave you without a way to seek compensation that covers all your injury expenses and related expenses.
Types of Damages Available for a Surgical Error Claim
Innocent patients should not be forced to bear the costly expenses of a serious surgical error. Fortunately, there are a number of damages available if a plaintiff prevails in a medical malpractice claim. For example, a plaintiff could receive compensation for expenses used for medical treatment to correct a surgical error. Other types of damages available include:
- Decreased life expectancy
- Loss of earnings
- Inability to perform acts you previously enjoyed and other lifestyle changes
- Expenses for rehabilitation
Additionally, a plaintiff could also receive compensation for pain and suffering. However, Maryland has a cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded for pain and suffering. There are no caps on economic damages in Maryland.
Consult with Our Experienced Maryland Cardiothoracic Surgery Lawyer Today
If you were the victim of medical malpractice during a surgical procedure, you should contact an experienced Maryland cardiothoracic surgical error lawyer today. Injury lawyer Randolph Rice possesses extensive experience litigating a variety of medical malpractice claims, and he would be honored to work with you. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.