It is possible during every surgical procedure for the surgeon to cause damage to internal organs or for pathogens to infect the area being operated on, possibly leading to organ failure. The responsibility lies upon the surgeon to take all steps needed before, during and following surgical procedures to reduce the risk of complications and to quickly identify and treat any complications that do arise. The Chicago surgical error injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are committed to helping those who are injured through negligent medical care recover the compensation they need to be able to recover and move forward with their lives.
There are Many Causes of Internal Organ Damage during Surgical Procedures
No surgery is without its risk and patients are susceptible to the possibility of encountering numerous complications during or following their procedures. When these complications cause damage to internal organs, it can alter the patient’s quality of living or result in conditions that pose a threat to his or her survival. It is impossible to cover all possible scenarios which involve medical malpractice, but the causes of surgery related injury due to negligence can include the following.
- Infections — surgeries open the patient to numerous pathogens through the wound, and even laparoscopic surgeries open the body to possible infection. Surgeons need to follow protocols which will reduce the chances of an infection forming and allow them to detect and treat any infection which does occur. These measures include ensuring that surgical equipment is sterile and prescribing antibiotics when the patient is at risk of developing an infection or is suffering from one.
- Operating on the wrong location — we have helped clients whose injuries were caused when their surgeons operated on the wrong area of the body or when they made incisions in the wrong places, leading to damage to internal organs while failing to address the original problem.
- Perforating internal organs — surgical errors may result in organ perforation, whether through an inadvertent slip of the hand or the tearing of tissue by a surgical instrument. Organ perforation can result in infection, blood loss and the loss of fluids being transported by the affected organ.
- Anesthesia errors — all medical factors such as age, weight, current medications and other risks need to be accounted for when determining the amount of anesthetic to give to a patient. It is also important that the person providing the medication administers it properly and monitors the patient’s vitals to determine whether there are signs of distress.
- Failure to notice surgical error — most surgical errors are quickly noticed and repaired, resulting in minor complications that are easily overcome. The failure to notice an error can have disastrous consequences, however, and the patient may suffer from internal bleeding, extreme pain, infections or organ failure.
- Not performing repair in a proper manner — some surgical errors are compounded when the surgeon does not repair the damage in the right manner. This can only continue to exacerbate the problem and put the patient at risk.
- Leaving an object inside of the patient — some objects can remain inside patients for a long time before they cause complications while others puncture, perforate or rupture organs soon after the procedure is concluded.
- Using defective surgical equipment — it is the responsibility of the surgeon to determine whether the equipment he or she is using is functioning as it should and to be aware of instruments that have been known to malfunction. When defective equipment is the cause for injury, the doctor and manufacturer may both be evaluated to determine whether each acted negligently.
- Implanting harmful devices or objects — patients have reported adverse effects after receiving a wide range of implants or devices, ranging from mesh products to prosthetics. When these devices cause damage to internal organs due to their decay or malfunction, the patient may be able to seek damages.
- Poor communication with patients — it is crucially important that patients are informed concerning the complications they may experience, needed lifestyle changes and how they need to be involved in their own treatment and recovery plans. Doctors also need to gather all of the relevant information from patients they will need to prepare for potential complications. Follow up is also important because of the chance the patient will develop an infection or experience other complications.
Our Chicago surgical error lawyers understand that some injuries to internal organs may seem progressive and are more difficult for doctors to notice or diagnose at a first glance. For this reason, it may seem impossible to determine whether the injury was the result of medical malpractice. The good news is that we have access to a wide range of medical specialists who can not only help us determine whether malpractice is a factor, but who can help provide you with the care that you need moving forward.
Symptoms of Internal Organ Damage
An injury to an internal organ can be excruciating and represent an immediate threat to someone’s life. Even if the surgeon is able to save the patient’s life, the impact of the injury may become permanent, resulting in a change of lifestyle and quality of living. It could even impact the ability of the person to work or to enjoy the activities he or she once loved. The symptoms of organ damage can include the following.
- Septic shock
- Vomiting and nausea
- Increased heart rate or palpitations
- Pain at the site of injury
What to Expect from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult to bring to court because of the manner in which healthcare providers are protected from frivolous lawsuits. This is compounded by the fact that many people retain representation from lawyers who may not have experience in the specific areas of practice most relevant to their cases. The choice of an attorney is the most important decision you can make when deciding to proceed with a lawsuit.
In order for a doctor to be considered negligent, testimony must be provided by qualified medical specialists which establishes a breach in the doctor’s duty of care. Duty of care is defined as reasonable actions that any professional with the same qualifications would perform given the same circumstances. If a breach in the duty of care can be established, it is possible to build and try a case.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has an experienced medical law team that has successfully recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of clients. Our attorneys know how to properly investigate, build and bring a court to case in a manner that ensures the greatest chances of success. If you have been injured and believe that it was due to a surgical error or negligent medical treatment, we would like the opportunity to help.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago surgical error injury attorneys so that we can gather the information we need to properly assess your case. Once we have had the opportunity to investigate your claim, we can review your legal options and let you know what you can expect throughout the entire legal process. We work solely on a contingency basis, so this gives you the benefit of knowing that if we are unable to recover compensation on your behalf for any reason at all, our services will be free of charge.