Surgical Errors in Palm Beach
Healthcare can elicit many different emotions from the general population. However, when considering medical malpractice surgical errors, we find that this situation can elicit the greatest amount of alarm.
When we are about to have a surgical procedure, we are in a position in which we have placed our greatest trust in the doctor who will be performing that operation. This is also true when it comes to the members of their staff who will be assisting in the surgery. Our assumptions are based on the fact that the doctor and team represent a number of years dedicated to performing their medical care to the highest possible standard. While we may accept that there is always the chance that something may go wrong, the last thing we expect is for a problem to arise due to negligence from the surgical team. But the fact remains, medical malpractice surgical errors in Palm Beach occur far more frequently than most people would like to think.
It should be said, though, that this in no way indicates that there should be an assumption that the professionals in the medical field are unqualified to perform surgery. The truth is that the medical profession consists of a large number of highly skilled professionals that make up the overwhelming percentage of its members. However, there are also cases in which an error in judgment is made, that could have been completely avoidable and that error had resulted in serious consequences for the patient.
If you, or a loved one, are suffering from the effects of an avoidable error in a surgical procedure, then it is recommended that you immediately seek the advice of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, serving Palm Beach. The initial consultation is free of charge and an experienced attorney can try to assist you in determining what your options are.How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
It goes without saying that each situation has its own set of circumstances when it comes to evaluating a legal position. But there are also an accepted set of medical guidelines that are utilized in order to determine if whether or not medical malpractice has occurred. These guidelines include:
Situations in which no surgical malpractice is involved
- A negative result that occurs after a surgical procedure is not, in and of itself, an indication of medical malpractice.
- All forms of surgery carry their own inherent set of risks and medical malpractice may not be a factor. If it can be shown that the surgical procedure was performed according to the accepted standards that have been set down by the medical profession, then a case for medical malpractice may not be appropriate.
- If the surgeon and staff members have not made an avoidable error during the surgical procedure and the before and after care, then medical malpractice hasn’t been committed according to Florida law mandates.
Situations in which surgical malpractice was involved
- First of all, the surgical procedure must have resulted in an injury to the patient.
- It needs to be shown the surgeon (and/or the members of the surgical team) have acted in a negligent manner, which has caused the patient’s injury. These negligent acts may include; instruments left inside the patient, improperly sterilized instruments, anesthesia errors, etc.)
- Although called for, a formal patient-doctor relationship was not established. Because of this, the patient wasn’t given any general advice regarding the surgical procedures and its potential risks.
What are some common surgical errors that can be made?
Here are some of the most common surgical errors that can be seen in medical malpractice cases:
- The surgery performed was incorrect – although some might find it difficult to believe, there are a number of cases in which the surgery that was performed was not the correct one. This problem might be traced to a hospital that is understaffed, which has led to a medical staff that is attempting to handle an overwhelming number of cases. However, even if this happens to be the case, there are specific procedures that are in place in order to keep incorrect surgeries from happening. If the required “preoperative verification” wasn’t performed (or performed incorrectly), then there may be a case for medical malpractice.
- The wrong body part was operated on – This situation is similar to the first one mentioned. There have even been cases in which the wrong appendage was amputated!
- Medical equipment hasn’t been sterilized properly – when surgical tools and medical equipment haven’t been sterilized according to accepted parameters, then problems such as infection may result.
- Anesthesia errors – this is a medical error that may appear straight out of a horror film. In some cases, too much anesthesia has been given. This can overly suppress the patient’s vital bodily functions, such as breathing. When the patient isn’t getting enough oxygen, then brain damage or even death may result. On the other side of the coin, too little anesthesia can create a frightening situation in which the patient might wake up during the surgical procedure, but is too paralyzed to alert the medical team. When this happens, the patient can actually feel the surgery that is taking place, but is powerless to do anything about it. This can give the patient the sensation of being dissected alive!
- Organ and/or nerve damage – This is a very basic error in which the surgeon just hasn’t been proficient enough to perform the surgery correctly. Obviously, not all surgeons have the same skill level and there are also cases in which fatigue (or other issues) may hamper the ability of the surgeon to perform correctly. The results can have a wide range of negative effects that include organ and nerve damage.
- Surgical Tools Left Inside a Patient – Another problem can occur when surgical implements (such as; tools, sponges, etc.) are not properly removed from inside the surgery patient. The surgical team is obligated to perform a correct count of all the items that were used in the surgery to ensure that they were all removed. Leaving any of them inside the patient may cause internal damage, blockages or death.
Palm Beach statutes allow for a patient to file a lawsuit against; doctors, surgeons and medical team staff members for situations that involve medical malpractice surgical errors. Even so, there may be an occasional dispute when it comes to defining the professional standard of care within the medical industry. Part of the reason for this can be traced to the fact that, in the medical profession, there is no such thing as “perfection”, as defined by state law. This particular situation may surprise a lot of people. In cases that involve a surgical procedure, if something goes wrong, the general immediate reaction is to place the blame on the surgeon and the medical team. But, this wouldn’t be a fair assessment.
In truth, what needs to be shown is that there has been a “breach of care” involved when it comes to the medical team that has performed the operation. This is something that happens when the actions of the surgical team has fallen below the acceptable standards of medical care that are considered to be prudent and competent. When legally attempting to evaluate the standard of care that was given to a surgical patient, the determination is based on: the surgeon’s knowledge, the available medical resources and other factors.What are the Palm Beach statutes regarding surgical medical malpractice?
There are a number of Palm Beach (and the rest of the state) statutes that pertain to the standards of medical that is considered to be legally acceptable. These include:
- Medical negligence is outlined in s. 766. 102 in which the recovery of damages pertaining to the death or personal injury that has been defined in s. 766.202(4), must be evidenced by a break of the current professional standard of care.
- s. 766, 111 states that health care providers that are licensed according to chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 460, chapter 461, or chapter 466 are not allowed to; provide, procure, order or administer unnecessary tests for the purpose of diagnosis. These items must be in accordance with the reasonable calculation to assist the medical professional with the diagnosis of a patient’s medical condition.
- s. 766. 102 also indicates that malpractice may be declared if a personal injury was not within the scope of foreseeable surgical or medical procedure results (2) (a)
- When an investigation is being conducted regarding medical malpractice surgical errors, all copies of bills, films, reports and pertinent records that are related to the surgery (defined in s. 456.001) must be made available, upon request, to the parent, spouse or child who is filing the lawsuit and the lawyer who is assisting them. (3)
If you’re the victim of a Palm Beach medical malpractice surgical error, then there a few steps that are recommended for you to take:
- Immediately obtain the assistance that you need. It’s important to understand that the highest priority is your health. To this end, you should report to the hospital as soon as you’re able.
- Make sure that you receive all of your medical records and keep all of medical files in a single location for easy reference. This also includes any billing statements and receipts. It is also suggested that you maintain a personal journal regarding all of your medical experiences regarding the surgery. This should also include anything that you were told by the doctor.
- Seek out the advice of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. This is especially true when you consider that not every medical problem can be linked directly to medical malpractice. You initial appointment with the attorney is free.
- Be aware that there is a statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. In Palm Beach (and the rest of the state), filing a lawsuit of this nature is, in most cases, limited to 2 years from the time of the malpractice occurrence. In a case involving wrongful death, close family members or the individual’s estate generally have one year to file.
Deaths and injuries from a Palm Beach medical malpractice surgical error can be the result of negligent behavior, which may occur in Palm Beach at any given time. In addition, it’s important to understand that while normal surgical risks are often a factor, there are also many times when this isn’t the situation. There have been a number of cases in which negligent practices have resulted in an injury that eventually led to a person’s death. Therefore, if you or a loved one are injured in a Palm Beach medical malpractice surgical error, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a medical malpractice personal injury attorney.
Discuss your case with a Medical Malpractice Personal Injury Attorney Serving Palm Beach Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.