Minor medical procedures really do not exist. Doctors may use the term “minor” to describe a medical procedure, but all surgical procedures have some level of risk of injury to the patient. Doctors cannot guarantee outcomes of surgery. Therefore, they are required to explain the dangers and risks associated with the surgery and obtained informed consent from the patient before proceeding with surgery. Unfortunately, medical providers do not warn patients that they may be injured because of surgical errors and medical negligence. Those topics are never discussed with patients.
In this article we discuss:
- What are the common types of surgical errors?
- How do you prove medical malpractice in Illinois?
- What should you do if you suspect you were injured because of medical negligence?
What Are The Common Types Of Surgical Errors?
Mistakes and errors in the surgical suite can result in traumatic injuries and fatalities. However, surgical errors occur before, during, and after a surgical procedure. Also, any member of the surgical team or health care facility staff can be negligent or commit an error. Medical negligence is not limited to physicians, surgeons, and anesthetists.
Common types of surgical errors that may cause injuries or death include:
- Errors with anesthesia, including failure to monitor a patient and prescribing the incorrect medication or dosage
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a condition
- Leaving implements inside the patient, such as sponges, towels, or clamps
- Failing to pre-screen a patient for conditions that could complicate surgery or make the surgery more dangerous
- Negligent postoperative care, including failure to monitor patients for infections and problems after surgery
- Performing the wrong surgery or performing surgery on the wrong site
- Unnecessary surgical procedures
- Improperly sterilized rooms, instruments, and machines
- Severing or puncturing an internal organ or artery
The above list is not an exhaustive list of the mistakes and instances of negligence found during surgery. The reasons for mistakes during surgery vary. Neglect, miscommunication, and carelessness are some of the reasons for surgical errors.
Other reasons may be related to a medical provider’s poor decisions, such as performing surgery while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or proceeding with an operation when the surgeon is overly fatigued or drowsy.
Proving surgical malpractice can be complicated, but with the help of experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorneys, you can hold a negligent medical provider responsible for your injuries and damages.
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice In Illinois?
A medical malpractice claim involves four specific elements that you must prove to hold the surgeon liable for damages. Those elements are:
- Doctor-Patient Relationship — You must prove that you and the doctor had a professional doctor-patient relationship at the time of the injury. This element can be proven with medical records. If a doctor answers a medical question at your child’s little league game, a professional relationship probably did not exist.
- Breach of Duty — A doctor-patient relationship creates a duty of care for your doctor to provide competent medical care. You must prove that the doctor breached the duty of care to prove medical malpractice. Along with causation, this is one of the two most difficult elements to prove. An experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney understands the necessary steps to prove malpractice, including retaining medical experts to provide testimony that the doctor’s actions were not within the reasonable standard of care for the situation.
- Causation — There must be a direct relationship between the breach of duty and the injury. The breach of property care must have been the main cause of your injury.
- Damages — Lastly, we must show that you suffered damages because of the breach of duty. Damages may include physical injuries, developing additional health care conditions, loss of income, permanent impairments, scarring, or emotional & physical pain and suffering.
What Should You Do If You Suspect You Were Injured Because Of Medical Negligence?
If you are unsure whether you were the victim of medical malpractice because of a surgical error, meeting with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can help. An attorney can provide information about filing a medical malpractice claim, additional steps you should take, and information about your legal rights.
Contact the Costa Ivone Injury Lawyers by calling (708) 400-0000 to schedule a confidential, free consultation with an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney for surgical errors.