Women trust their gynecologists to care for their health, to keep their reproductive systems healthy, and to manage their pregnancies. Sometimes the care provided includes surgery. The range of gynecological surgeries is vast, from hysterectomies to adhesiolysis, colporrhaphies, the removal of ovarian cysts, oophorectomies, and more. While some of these surgeries are common, they all still present some level of risk. If a gynecologist made a mistake during a procedure or failed to explain all of the risks and potential complications, they may have committed medical malpractice.
A gynecologist’s mistakes or negligence can cause unnecessary pain and suffering for a patient, with some negligent errors leading to miscarriages, hemorrhaging, sterility, and even death. And it’s not only the mother who is affected; an unborn child may also suffer injuries or death. If you have suffered an injury from gynecological surgery, an experienced Maryland gynecological surgical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can help you. Call us at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Gynecological Medical Malpractice in Maryland
Patients will usually begin seeing a gynecologist during their teenage years and continue through menopause. They rely on their gynecologist’s knowledge and expertise to care for their health and provide beneficial treatment when necessary. While gynecologists are trained physicians, they are still capable of making mistakes and errors in judgment. An unjustifiable mistake or a negligent error can result in severe medical complications that might rise to the level of medical malpractice. Negligent conduct that constitutes medical malpractice can occur during the diagnostic stage, during surgery, or after surgery.
Preoperative Gynecological Errors
Before surgery, a gynecologist might misdiagnose or fail to diagnose a medical condition. This mistake could involve misreading the results of a medical test, failing to order a specific test, or neglecting to anticipate a complication. Some examples of preoperative gynecological surgery errors include the following:
- Failing to detect cervical or ovarian cancer in the early stages due to a lack of proper screening
- Failing to make a proper diagnosis or prescribe the right treatment due to an error in reviewing lab results or ultrasound images
- Failing to anticipate or uncover other conditions that could lead to complications
- Failing to properly inform a patient of all potential risks and side-effects of a procedure
Gynecological Surgical Errors
Once the surgery begins, a gynecological surgeon has the responsibility of taking reasonable steps to correctly and safely perform the procedure. Some common gynecological surgery errors that occur because of negligence during a surgical procedure include the following:
- Performing a specific procedure without the proper experience necessary to do it safely
- Failing to properly manage or supervise the surgical team
- Accidently puncturing, tearing, perforating, or otherwise harming other organs or tissue
- Performing an unnecessary surgical procedure
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
- Performing the wrong procedure
Postoperative Gynecological Errors
Postoperative care is critical for recovery from gynecological surgery. Many times, errors occur in the way a patient is treated after the surgery is over. Some examples of postoperative gynecological surgery mistakes include the following:
- Failing to diagnose or treat postoperative bleeding or hemorrhaging
- Failing to discover or treat an infection
- Failing to properly treat incisions, care for wounds, and manage swelling
- Prescribing the wrong medications or dosages following surgery
The Effects of Gynecological Surgical Negligence and Malpractice
Gynecological surgical mistakes can result in serious medical consequences and injuries. For example, an accidental nick or perforation during surgery can lead to very dangerous infections. The types of injury or harm range from infertility, hemorrhaging, and a severe diminishing of sexual function to various birth injuries. If not treated immediately, many of these complications can lead to further hospitalization, additional surgeries, infection, sepsis, and death.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Gynecological Surgical Errors in Maryland
Not every mistake made by a gynecologist constitutes medical malpractice. However, if the error is caused by the doctor’s negligence, it may give rise to a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice litigation is complex and requires the guidance of an experienced Maryland gynecological surgical negligence attorney.
A medical malpractice claim for gynecological surgical negligence requires proving four things: a duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Gynecologists owe their patients a duty that meets a standard level of care. This standard of care is established by looking at the care that similarly knowledgeable and skilled professionals in the same field would provide under comparable circumstances. While simple mistakes may not be medical malpractice, deviating from the established standard of care can be negligent enough to qualify as medical malpractice. When a failure to adhere to the established standard of care includes unjustifiable errors, serious mistakes, or unprofessional behavior, a gynecologist can be held liable for any injuries or harm they caused.
The negligent conduct must have directly caused the injury to allow a victim to claim damages. Additionally, you must also prove that you suffered actual damages, either economic or noneconomic. For instance, economic damages include bills for additional medical procedures, the cost of hospital stays, or lost income. Noneconomic damages can consist of emotional distress and pain and suffering, among others.
Maryland also requires a plaintiff to submit a certificate of merit within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice claim. The certificate of merit must be from a qualified medical expert, stating the specific injury and what the defendant physician should have done differently to meet the standard of care. To qualify as a medical expert, the medical professional you chose must have clinical experience, must have provided consultation relating to clinical practice, or must have taught medicine, and they must have done so in the defendant’s specialty within five years before the date of the injury.
Call Our Maryland Gynecological Surgical Malpractice Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you were injured due to negligent errors during a gynecological surgery, call our experienced Maryland gynecological surgical medical malpractice attorney. Medical malpractice claims are complex and require diligent attention from knowledgeable attorneys. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.