Claims for medical negligence in the course of surgery can fall into various categories. These include:
- General surgery claims
- Retained surgical instruments claims
- Wrong site surgery negligence
- Surgical error claims
General Surgery Claims
General surgery is performed as either an emergency or an elective procedure. Surgeons do their utmost to ensure the surgery proceeds as planned and that the outcome is successful. However, medical accidents can occur despite these precautions. If medical negligence does occur, it is vital to identify it early so that any ill effects are minimised and any mistakes rectified before things become more serious. You should consult your solicitor if you have been the subject of general surgery negligence.
General surgery includes a variety of procedures, each of which comes with its own risks. Possible situations that could give rise to general surgery claims include:
- Misinterpretation of X-rays, scans, or MRIs
- Unnecessary surgery due to a misdiagnosis
- Failure to gain the patient’s consent
- Damage to internal organs
- Damage to nerves
- Anaesthetic errors
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Inadequate monitoring during surgery
- Poor results
- Poor aftercare
Retained Surgical Instruments Claims
Retained surgical instrument (RSI) claims occur when medical staff accidentally leave surgical instruments in the patient’s body following a surgery. Also referred to as “never events” because they are medical errors that should never happen, RSI claims can have dire consequences for the patient involved.
Items that can be retained after surgery include:
- Gauze Sponges
- Stitches or staples
Before they conduct a procedure, medical practitioners should count the instruments they have. They should repeat the procedure after the surgery to ensure that no items have been retained in the patient.
Complications that can occur include severe pain and discomfort, as well as infection. Patients will usually have to undergo further surgery to remove the object.
Wrong Site Surgery Negligence Claims
A medical negligence claim for wrong site surgery is made after a medical practitioner performs surgery on the wrong part of the body. This is called a “never event” because it is entirely preventable and should never happen.
Wrong site surgery has serious implications for a patient’s health. It delays surgery on the correct site, unnecessarily prolonging the injury or condition. It also means the patient will probably have to undergo a second operation to correct the error.
If a patient suffers either physical or psychological injury because of the negligence of a medical practitioner performing surgery on the wrong site, they may be entitled to make a legal claim.
Surgical Error Claims
Surgical error claims can cover a wide range of procedures and categories. They include:
- Anaesthetic awareness claims
- Contaminated blood products
- Eye surgery claims
- Nerve damage claims
- Sorin Stokert 3T HeaterCooler claims
- Spinal surgery claims