Patients are at risk for surgical errors every time they enter the operating
room. These mistakes, including wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-procedure
surgeries, can be life altering and even deadly.
When fatal surgical errors are caused by medical negligence, the family
of the patient can often pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. It not only
holds the negligent medical professionals accountable, but also allows family members to recover both economic and non-economic losses.
Surgical errors harm patients
Preventable surgical errors occur at least 4,000 times a year,
according to a Johns Hopkins University study. The same researchers found that surgical teams leave sponges or other
foreign objects inside patients at least 39 times a week. Surgeons also
perform the wrong surgery or operate on the wrong body part an estimated
20 times per week.
Other common surgical mistakes include:
- Lack of informed consent
- Recommendation of unnecessary procedure
- Failure to recognize or treat a complication
- Improper administration of anesthesia or blood products
While thousands of U.S. patients die each year due to surgical errors,
many of the errors are preventable. Studies confirm that many facilities
do not follow proper safety protocols, including pre-procedure patient
verification, site marking and post-operative instrument/sponge counts.
When surgical mistakes prove fatal, San Diego wrongful death lawyers can
help explain your options.
Pursing a wrongful death lawsuit
A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed as a result of the negligent,
reckless or intentional conduct of another person or entity. Under California
law, spouses and next of kin (children, parents and sometimes siblings)
can seek compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Some damages family members may recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Financial support
- Loss of gifts and benefits
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Value of household services
- Loss of love, comfort, companionship, care, assistance, protection, affection,
society, and moral support
If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a surgical
error, you may be entitled to compensation, such as pain and suffering
damages and reimbursement of medical expenses. For more information, please contact
a San Diego medical malpractice lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage
for a free consultation.