Surgical complications are possible during any procedure. In the majority of cases, they are not anyone’s fault. Even when medical professionals do everything correctly, unexpected outcomes can occur after a surgery. However, there are also circumstances when the negligence of a health care worker contributed to patient injury or death. If you or a loved one suffered complications after surgery and suspect medical malpractice was a factor, our lawyers can help.
Here is some more information about surgical complications and their relationship to malpractice:
Possible Surgical Complications
There are a variety of issues that can occur as a result of surgery. These range from mild to severe and some are more common than others.
Possible complications include:
Wound infections can occur when bacteria enter the surgical site. Staph infections are one of the most common varieties because this type of bacteria is often present on your skin. It only becomes harmful when it enters your body through an open wound. Surgical incisions can become infected with staph as a result of improper hygiene by doctors or nurses, dirty bedding, and a variety of other factors. Patients may also develop Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which often requires a long and potentially expensive hospital stay.
Sepsis is a potential complication of infections. This is when the body reacts negatively to chemicals that it releases into the bloodstream to fight off an infection. This condition is potentially life-threatening and early treatment is essential to avoid negative outcomes.
Certain surgeries are more likely to result in lung problems. Patients may experience hypoxemia (low oxygen concentration), pneumothorax (air around the lungs), pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs), and other serious symptoms. Many lung-related surgical complications are life-threatening.
Some patients are allergic to different types of anesthesia. Luckily, severe reactions to general anesthesia are rare. However, when they do occur, they can have serious consequences and can even lead to death.
The Definition of Malpractice
The presence of complications after surgery is not enough to prove malpractice. In order to make a case, you need to prove that the surgeon or another health professional failed to provide an adequate standard of care. This alone is still not sufficient for a malpractice claim, as you must also prove that this lack of care was the proximate (legal) cause of your injury.
Some important questions in a malpractice case are:
- Would a competent doctor have made the same decisions under the same circumstances?
- Could the professional have foreseen that their actions had the potential to cause injury?
- Did the health care provider’s actions directly cause the injury, or would the injury have taken place even if they had not been negligent?
- What specific damage occurred as a result of the injury? (Pain and suffering, lasting disability, additional medical bills, lost wages, etc.)
How a Malpractice Attorney Can Help
After you or a loved one have experienced surgical complications, you may be overwhelmed by the circumstances and may not be thinking of your legal options. Hiring an attorney can help you determine what compensation you might be entitled to. This can help you manage the financial burden of your injury.
Experienced Tucson Personal Injury Lawyers
Our experienced attorneys at Grabb & Durando can help you with your personal injury claim. This includes medical malpractice. We offer a free initial consultation, so there is no risk for you to contact us if you suspect that a health care provider contributed to your surgical complications. Our lawyers will go over the facts with you and help you determine whether or not you have a case. If you do pursue legal action, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.