Maryland Surgical Error Malpractice Attorney
Surgical errors can result in loss of life and permanent injuries. In some cases, victims of surgical errors know that something is wrong, but they might go through months of pain and rounds of second and third opinions before they understand that their injury was caused by a doctor’s mistakes.
Identifying and seeking compensation for medical malpractice and surgical errors can be difficult without legal help. An experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney can help you understand what medical evidence you need to file your case and contact the doctors and experts necessary to help prove your case.
For a free legal consultation, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our surgical error malpractice attorneys file cases against doctors and hospitals to help victims of surgical errors get compensated for their injuries. For a free consultation, call us at (410) 694-7291 today.
Identifying Surgical Errors and Medical Malpractice in Maryland
“Medical malpractice” refers to any case where the doctor or other care provider fell below the “standard of care” in their treatment. This “standard of care” is based on what other similarly trained and experienced medical experts would have done in the same situation. the standard of care is often defined by whether the doctor’s conduct or mistakes were “reasonable” under the given circumstances. Identifying surgical errors requires looking at this reasonableness, but it also requires looking at the body and being able to identify when something is wrong.
Identifying Surgical Errors
If the doctor does not affirmatively tell you that something went wrong during a surgical procedure, it might be difficult for you to know that anything out of the ordinary happened. Many surgeries involve some risk, such as the risk of bleeding or the risk that you could have an adverse reaction. Informed consent forms at the hospital should have informed you of many different risks, and doctors often try to say that everything that happened in your case was within the realm of those “complications.”
If your doctor made mistakes that go beyond these normal complications, they might not be willing to admit it. Many patients find themselves in the situation where their doctor tells them they should recover from things like pain or immobility after surgery, but weeks or months go by without improvement. Other times, patients might just feel like something is “off” about their pain but not have the medical knowledge to know that mistakes were made.
Because of this, it is often vital to seek a second opinion, potentially at a different hospital. A lawyer can help set this appointment up. Your new doctor may be able to locate the injury and identify how it happened. If your new doctor suggests it might have been related to your surgery, you could have a case against the original, negligent doctor.
Determining When a Surgical Error Constitutes Malpractice
As mentioned, patients are usually informed before surgery that certain complications might arise and that sometimes things go wrong in surgery. We are limited by the science at our disposal and the fact that surgery is performed by humans who have limits on what they can and cannot do. Nonetheless, some injuries are unreasonable, and other doctors can identify the error as malpractice.
A second opinion is often the first time that a patient will learn that what happened to them was malpractice and not just a random variation in surgery. Sometimes this is because of the statements the negligent doctor made, which can be considered “fraudulent concealment.” Other times this delay is because the treating physician simply did not realize they made a mistake.
As soon as you suspect your injury case was caused by a doctor’s mistakes, you should contact a lawyer about filing a medical malpractice case.
Examples of Surgical Errors that Lead to Malpractice Cases in Maryland
Many examples of surgical malpractice involve outrageous things that even a non-medical person can see are wrong. These things sometimes happen in the worst kinds of surgical error cases:
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Removing the wrong organ
- Amputating the wrong limb
- Performing the wrong surgical procedure
- Removing excess tissue
These surgical errors can often be identified quite easily, and you can begin working with a lawyer to seek compensation right away after finding out about the error.
Other surgical errors are harder to identify unless the doctor admits what happened or you seek a second opinion:
- Cutting too deep
- Nicking an artery
- Severing a nerve
If your doctor does not admit to one of these errors but you face prolonged pain after an operation, you should consider seeking a second opinion and talking to a lawyer about your case.
Other mistakes are some of the hardest surgical errors to identify, and surgeons might not even be aware of the mistake until another doctor takes X-rays or performs another surgery:
During surgery, doctors and their team need to move the patient to avoid having them lay in awkward of painful positions for too long. Even though the patient is unconscious and cannot feel the pain, awkward positions could cause damage to the patient’s circulation or nerves. This could potentially cause lasting damage the doctor might not notice right away.
Retained Sponges and Surgical Tools
The tools, sponges, gauze pads, and other materials that a doctor uses should be counted before and after a procedure to make sure nothing was left behind in the patient’s body. If they are not, patients could face long-term pain and adverse health effects because of a retained object. it is possible that no one could know about this retained sponge or tool until an X-ray is taken during a second opinion.
Call Our Surgical Error and Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Maryland
For help identifying a surgical error and medical malpractice after your surgery, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Maryland surgical error malpractice attorneys offer free case consultations. Call (410) 694-7291.