Whether a patient is having major or minor surgery, it is vital that a surgeon exercises caution when performing a surgery. Carelessness when performing a surgery could lead to a surgeon leaving a surgical tool inside a patient. If undiscovered, a surgical tool could cause severe damage to tissues and organs in a patient’s body. If you or a family member was a victim of a surgical error, consult with an experienced Maryland attorney for surgical tools left inside a patient’s body.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice has an unwavering commitment to fighting for patients that were injured due to a surgical mistake. We recognize how a surgical error can change a person’s life, and we are here for you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. You can also contact us online.
How a Surgical Tool Can Be Left Inside a Patient
When performing a surgery, a doctor may employ the use of a number of surgical tools from scalpels to retractors. When using so many tools to perform a surgery, a surgeon and other medical staff should ensure that they are all accounted for after the surgery is complete. Unfortunately, this does not always occur. Below is a list of reasons why a surgical instrument could be left inside a patient.
Surgeries typically require that a surgeon is aided by multiple medical practitioners to ensure the surgery goes smoothly. As a result, a surgeon and medical staff should be in constant communication throughout the duration of the surgery. Failure to properly communicate could mean that a surgeon or nurse loses track of a surgical tool inside the patient’s body. For example, a small sponge could go unnoticed if a member of the medical staff is not focused on the surgery.
Failure to Make a Checklist
When beginning a surgery, the medical team should have a checklist of all the surgical instruments they intend to use during the surgery. Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon and staff should consult the checklist again to ensure that no materials have gone missing inside a patient.
There are other ways that an instrument could become stuck inside a patient. However, it is 100% preventable to avoid leaving an instrument inside a patient during a surgery. As a result, the surgeon, medical staff, or even the hospital could be liable for injuries a patient suffered due to negligence.
To learn more about liability for a surgical error, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Grounds for Suing a Maryland Hospital for a Surgical Error
When visiting a hospital for surgery, no patient expects their surgeon or other medical practitioners will provide them with care that will result in their injury. Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that a patient can be injured due to medical malpractice. If a patient is injured due to medical malpractice, there is a question of whether the patient can sue the hospital for negligence.
Maryland law states that for a hospital to responsible for an injury to a patient, the patient must prove that the level of care provided by the hospital was not in line with the medical service common in a particular field. This means that a medical practitioner is not required to provide a patient with flawless medical care. Instead, a medical practitioner must only ensure that they provide care similar to their colleagues that share similar training and experience.
Determining whether the standard of care received is equal to healthcare professionals in the same field can be difficult. Medical experts are often needed to prove that a healthcare professional violated or adhered to the proper standard of medical care. To determine whether a medical expert is qualified to testify concerning standards of medical care, the following factors are considered:
- Whether the medical expert had clinical experience in the medical field at issue
- Whether the medical expert taught or was qualified to teach medicine in the appropriate medical field or a similar field in recent years
- Was the medical expert board-certified in the same field as the defendant?
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other factors that may be considered when introducing an expert medical witness.
In some cases, there may be an issue in determining liability if a hospital employs a doctor as an independent contractor. The hospital may claim that they did not have control over the actions of the surgeon when they committed the negligent act. Under other circumstances, a surgeon may perform operations from their own private practice, which may require an injured patient to sue them directly.
If you are uncertain about whether a Maryland doctor or hospital is liable for your surgical injury, you should waste no time in speaking with an experienced attorney to alleviate your concerns.
Our Committed Maryland Lawyer for Retained Surgical Tools in the Body is Ready to Discuss Your Claim
If you were injured during surgery due to medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney for surgical tools left inside the body. With over a decade of legal experience, Randolph Rice is prepared to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291.