Did you or someone in your family recently undergo surgery? Whether the procedure was elective or prompted in an emergency situation, you had the right to reasonably assume that every medical team member involved in your care (or your loved one's) would act according to the utmost level of accepted safety standards. Things can go wrong during or after surgery; hopefully, a doctor spoke with you beforehand regarding the risks.
Of course, if you were unconscious or in a life-or-death situation, there may have been no opportunity for discussion. At any rate, even though things don't always go as planned if you have surgery, you should never have to suffer injury or illness due to medical negligence. Shockingly, surgical errors rank high on most lists for causes of medical malpractice in Arizona and throughout the nation. Beware of the possible errors that may place you in harm's way, and know where to seek support if a problem arises.
Dirty hands, premature action, delayed action and more
It's understandable that you'd be quite upset if you suffered an infection or other adverse health condition, simply because a medical professional had dirty hands when administering your care. The following issues are also causes of frequently reported errors many doctors make:
- Not only do many doctors and nurses not wash their hands enough, especially if they're wearing gloves, unclean surgical instruments or operating environment can also cause infection or illness to patients.
- Giving the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage is another common medical mistake.
- Some patients have awakened from surgery to the horrific news that their surgical team performed their operation on the wrong part of their body.
- If a nurse fears repercussion for challenging a doctor's recommendation or order, it can lead to serious patient injury, perhaps even death.
- Insertion of tubes in the wrong ports is another common medical error. Feeding tubes and intubation tubes look a lot alike. Putting one where the other belongs can be disastrous.
- Leaving catheters in too long or taking breathing tubes out too soon are other frequent errors that lead to medical malpractice situations.
Is your doctor perfect? No; in fact, he or she is merely human and can make mistakes like anyone else. However, there is strict protocol and governance regarding medical treatments, surgeries or post-operative care. If someone on your medical team acted negligently, and you suffered injury because of it, you may be among thousands of others in Arizona and across the nation who are victims of medical malpractice.
Support is available
A single medical error may prompt the need for further medical care. If you've already suffered injury, receiving additional treatment might sound scary. It's often helpful to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. Some people also choose to seek restitution against those who are legally liable for their injuries.