Maryland Victims of Surgical Errors Have Rights
Fighting for people harmed by their healthcare providers since 1985
All surgeries contain some element of risk. But when a surgeon or the team of doctors, nurses, attendants and specialists who are involved with a surgery are negligent, the errors can be catastrophic. You deserve an attorney whose reputation for zealous advocacy is known all over Maryland.
Plaxen & Adler, P.A. has fought on behalf of injury and medical malpractice victims for years and our lawyers have earned their reputation as formidable litigators when a case must go to court. As the premier injury law firm in Maryland, we consider it our duty to provide only the highest ethical service to our clients. But as people who understand the devastating consequences of a botched surgery, we offer you our compassion and the dignity you deserve.
Grounds for surgical error lawsuits
There are times when a surgery does not turn out as planned, and there is nothing your medical team could have done to alter the outcome. When a poor outcome is the result of negligence, however, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some of the more common surgical errors include:
- Anesthesia errors. For most major surgeries, a patient is required to be put under a local or general anesthesia. But anesthesia errors can be fatal. If the attending physician, nurse or surgeon administers too much, too little, or the wrong type of sedative, a patient risks waking up on the operating table, suffering a heart attack or stroke, or even falling into a coma.
- Leaving foreign objects in the body. Almost every television medical drama covers this particular error, but it happens more often than one might think. Leaving surgical tools, cotton swabs or gloves, or any foreign object in the body can lead to infection, and necessarily requires additional surgeries.
- Negligence-based infections. Even if your surgery went well, you still face the risk of infection. Your medial team is required to check on you regularly, to ensure that you’re not suffering needlessly, and that your vital signs are strong and healthy. Failure to do so can lead to a life-threatening infection.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Oxygen deprivation or anesthesia errors can lead to a traumatic brain injury which may have permanent detrimental effects. Infections can also lead to serious damage to the brain.
- Nerve damage injuries. A small error by a surgeon can lead to permanent nerve damage, affecting your motor skills or potentially causing paralysis.
Surgical patients deserve the highest levels of care. When that care has been compromised by a medical professional, you can trust Plaxen & Adler, P.A. to help you.
How to avoid being a victim of common surgical errors
While other medical errors can certainly be life threatening, surgical errors generally have more serious consequences because they involve exposing the inside of your body to trauma and outside contaminants. When it comes to emergency surgery, there is generally little that you can do to prepare; when your life is on the line, a flawed procedure is better than none at all. However, when your surgery is planned, these steps from The Sacramento Bee can help reduce the risk that you will become a statistic:
- Get your records. Accessing your medical records is easier than ever, and having them on hand means quick access to second opinions. When surgery is recommended, ask questions about the procedure and the surgeon. Ask what complications are possible, what the failure rate is, and whether there are alternative treatments.
- Be persistent and follow up. If your doctor says it will take time to review alternatives, don’t worry about being seen as nag. This is your health, your procedure, and your peace of mind. Asking questions until you’re comfortable is the only way to go under the knife.
- Don’t go alone. Medical jargon is dense and confusing. Questions have a way of evaporating until after you’ve left the office, and having someone else there to help you understand and examine your options when you’re emotionally compromised can save your life.
- Be prepared. Read the consent forms, know the risks, and know the worst-case scenarios. Before your surgery, ask if you can mark the part of your body that is to be operated on with magic marker. Some hospitals or facilities require this, but it is something you can and should request if it isn’t mandatory. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, talk to your doctor or surgeon. This means both before and after surgery; ignoring small symptoms can have large consequences. Delaying a surgery because of a cold can be the difference between life and death.
There is no such thing as an insignificant surgical error
For the last three decades, our law firm has devoted itself to providing recourse for personal injury and medical malpractice patients. If you’re suffering because of a surgical error that was within your medical team’s power to control, you have options. To schedule a no-cost consultation, please call Plaxen & Adler, P.A. at 410-988-4449 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout the State of Maryland and have law offices in Baltimore, Columbia, Cockeysville, Crofton, Owings Mills, Dundalk, Westminster, Greenbelt and Silver Spring. If requested, we are available to meet you at your home or at the hospital.