Archive for the ‘surgical error’ tag

Adverse Surgical Errors: When a Doctor Performs a Wrong-Site Operation

December 4th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

wrong-site operation, Connecticut malpractice attorney, Connecticut medical lawyer, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, hospital safety, medical malpractice, surgical error, wrong-site surgery, adverse medical error, This November, a California surgeon was placed on probation after mistakenly removing a patient’s right kidney. The operation, conducted in 2012, was supposed to be performed on the patient’s left, cancerous kidney. The surgeon, a urologist who was licensed for 41 years, performed the operation from memory—a mistake that has since required an additional surgery for the patient.

While wrong-site operations are not the most frequent of surgical errors, they are more common than one may think. A 2010 study of 6,000 doctors revealed 27,370 adverse events which occurred during surgeries performed between January 2002 and June 2008. Twenty-five were identified as wrong-patient surgeries and 107 were identified as wrong-site operations. “Of these,” reports USA Today, “five patients who received unnecessary surgery and 38 who received wrong-site operations were significantly harmed.” One patient who underwent a wrong-site surgery died as a result.

Additionally, a 2006 study reported by CNN revealed even more disturbing statistics. The study found that approximately 2,700 mistakes that involve a wrong-patient or wrong-site operation are made every year. When broken down, this equals nearly seven mistakes made every day. And while the mistakes may not be made intentionally, when they do occur, they can have far-reaching, negative consequences.

Doctor Marty Makary, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, reported in The Wallstreet Journal that although doctors take a vow to do no harm, they also operate under another unspoken rule in the field: “to overlook the mistakes of our colleagues.” Makary revealed how the astute perception of a nurse once saved him from cutting into a patient’s lung after an intern had prepped the wrong side. He also added how “U.S. surgeons operate on the wrong body part as often as 40 times a week.”

One recent event in Oregon left a little boy, who had come in for surgery to correct a lazy eye, with two painful operations. As the doctor was completing the procedure, she realized the operation had been performed on the wrong eye. “I feel like we had a right to know the second she realized she was in the wrong eye,” the boy’s mother told CNN. As a professional surgeon, the boy’s mother believes the doctor should have realized right away that she was not operating in the eye with the problem.

When a doctor makes a surgical error, such performing a wrong-site operation, a patient is likely eligible for compensation. If this has happened to you, you do not have to go through it alone. Contact a compassionate and experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Common Surgical Errors Result in Severe Medical Trauma

November 28th, 2014 at 7:00 am

severe medical trauma, abdominal infection, Connecticut medical malpractice, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer, hernia surgery, hospital safety, medical malpractice claim, punctured colon, severe patient trauma, surgical errorRoutine Surgery Results in Severe Medical Trauma

Earlier this year, a Connecticut woman was awarded $12 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit after her colon was punctured during a routine hernia surgery. The error led to a massive abdominal infection. Additionally, the woman went into septic shock and suffered a heart attack and organ failure. The woman then fell into a month-long coma, had to have a large part of her large intestine removed, and also sustained permanent injuries.

Common Surgical Errors

According to CNN News, medical errors, such as the one noted above, kill more than 200,000 people every year in the United States. Medical professionals estimate that these serious types of medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.

One of the most common types of medical errors is the accidental puncturing of an organ. In fact, a report from the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that laparoscopic surgery carries severe risk of puncturing an organ and is by far the most common type of operation for women addressing gynecological issues. WebMD notes that more than 4,000 preventable mistakes—such as the puncturing of an organ, operating on the wrong body part, or performing an incorrect procedure—occur annually and result in an impressive $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts every year.

Contact a Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorney

Having surgery can be frightening—especially when considering the risks and the potential for human error. If you recently underwent surgery and experienced a resulting injury, severe medical trauma, or were not made sufficiently aware of the surgical risks, you may be eligible for compensation. The most important step to determine if this is the case is to seek the counsel of a legal professional. You do not have to go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Westport medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your case. Call 203-226-6168.

How Safe Are Outpatient Surgeries?

October 13th, 2014 at 7:00 am

comedienne Joan Rivers, malpractice attorney, medical malpractice, outpatient surgeries, surgical error, Westport medical malpractice attorneyAccording to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of outpatient surgeries went from approximately 11 million procedures in 1996 to 57.1 million procedures in 2006. Many of the surgical procedures that are now being done in doctors’ offices were once only performed in hospitals. However, along with the increase in outpatient surgeries comes the increased risk of surgical errors and other medical malpractice incidents.

Much of the increase in outpatient surgery can be attributed to the difference in costs for insurance companies when a surgical procedure is done in a doctor’s office compared to the same procedure being performed in the hospital. That difference can be as much as 65 to 70 percent. Many insurance companies, and even Medicaid, will pay only a lower reimbursement fee for hospital-stay procedures, compared to a full-rate for office procedures.

As more and more surgical procedures are classified as outpatient procedures, the number of fatalities will also continue to rise. According to research from John Hopkins University, there are over 4,000 “never events” that occur each year in the United States. The National Patient Safety Agency defines never events as “serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.”

Other statistics from the CDC reveal that of those outpatient procedures performed in 2006, the majority of patients—20 million—were women. The most common procedure performed were endoscopies of either the large or small intestines. In 2006, there were 9.3 million outpatient endoscopies performed.

Endoscopies are often done to examine the vocal cords, esophagus, stomach, or part of the small intestine in order to obtain a biopsy or for treatment. The safety of outpatient endoscopy, especially in elderly patients, has come under scrutiny recently, with the death of comedienne Joan Rivers who stopped breathing while having the procedure done as an outpatient.

According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), complications from the procedure are not common; however, there are risks associated with it and include the perforation of the gastrointestinal tract lining. Some medical professionals have pointed out that the disadvantage of performing the surgery in an outpatient clinic is that the necessary medical equipment and medical expertise to resuscitate a patient should they go into respiratory or cardiac arrest is not available.

If you suspect that you or someone in your family has been a victim of medical malpractice or surgical error in Connecticut, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of a malpractice attorney. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney for a free initial consultation today.

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