Phoenix Surgical Malpractice Lawyer
Top Rated Surgical Malpractice Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ
What is Surgical Malpractice?
Surgical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, such as a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or nurse, fails to provide the appropriate standard of care during a surgical procedure, resulting in harm or injury to the patient. This can stem from various factors, including poor decision-making, inadequate skills, or failure to follow established protocols. Victims of surgical malpractice may suffer physical, emotional, and financial consequences, making it essential to seek legal representation from a knowledgeable Phoenix surgical malpractice attorney like those at Hastings Law Firm.
Causes of Surgical Negligence
Several factors can contribute to surgical negligence, and understanding each one can help identify potential surgical malpractice cases:
- Lack of communication: Miscommunication between medical professionals can lead to errors, such as performing the wrong surgical procedure or administering incorrect medications.
- Unsanitary conditions: Poor hygiene and sterilization practices in the operating room can result in infections and other complications, potentially caused by unsanitary instruments.
- Fatigue: Overworked medical staff may make critical mistakes due to exhaustion, impacting their decision-making and motor skills.
- Outdated or defective surgical equipment: Using malfunctioning or outdated surgical instruments can lead to complications, injuries, or wrongful death.
- Inadequate training or experience: Surgeons or other medical staff who lack proper training or experience may be more likely to commit errors during surgery.
- Incompetence: A healthcare provider who fails to stay current with best practices or who demonstrates a pattern of poor judgment can be considered incompetent and liable for malpractice.
- Substance abuse: Medical professionals under the influence of drugs or alcohol may have impaired judgment and reaction times, increasing the risk of surgical errors.
The Difference in Surgical Complications and Surgical Malpractice
Surgical complications are unintended and sometimes unavoidable consequences of a surgical procedure. In contrast, surgical malpractice is when a medical professional’s negligence directly leads to harm or injury to the patient while performing surgery. To have a viable medical malpractice lawsuit for surgical malpractice, it must be proven that the medical professional’s error was the cause of the injury. If you can prove negligence, you can be awarded compensation for lost wages and medical care costs.
Types of Surgical Malpractice
Surgeon Malpractice: This occurs when a negligent surgeon, or doctor, causes harm to the patient. Examples include doctors making incorrect incisions, improper suturing, or the laceration of an organ that can lead to internal bleeding.
Anesthesia Malpractice: An anesthesiologist’s negligence can lead to severe complications, such as administering too much anesthesia, not monitoring the patient’s vital signs, or failing to recognize an allergic reaction.
Scrub Nurse Malpractice: A scrub nurse’s negligence can cause harm, such as failing to maintain a sterile environment or not accounting for all instruments used during the procedure.
Surgical Never Events
A “Never Event” is a term used to describe a serious, preventable medical error that should never happen under any circumstances. These events often have devastating consequences for patients and indicate severe negligence on the part of the healthcare professional. Surgical Never Events can include:
- Wrong-site surgery: Operating on the wrong part of the body or the wrong patient, often due to miscommunication, inadequate preoperative verification, or failure to follow proper protocols. Executing unnecessary surgery on the wrong body part is an unacceptable error.
- Retained foreign object: Leaving an object, such as a surgical instrument or sponge, inside a patient’s body after surgery. This can cause severe pain, infection, nerve damage, and other complications.
- Wrong procedure: Performing an incorrect procedure on an individual can lead to unnecessary harm or the need for additional surgeries to correct the mistake.
- Discharging an infant to the wrong person: This can happen when hospital staff fail to follow proper identification and tracking procedures, resulting in a newborn being released to the incorrect individual.
- Mismatched blood transfusion: Administering the wrong blood type to a patient can cause severe allergic reactions, organ failure, or even death. This error can occur due to mislabeling, communication errors, or inadequate record-keeping.
How Does Our Phoenix Law Firm Evaluate for Surgery Negligence?
Our Phoenix law firm conducts a meticulous evaluation process to determine whether surgery negligence occurred in a given case. This process involves several crucial steps:
Medical record review: Our surgical malpractice attorneys carefully examine the patient’s medical records, including the operative report, consent to surgery, intraoperative anesthesia report, consultation reports, discharge summary, and follow-up reports. By analyzing these documents, we can identify potential discrepancies, omissions, or errors that may indicate negligence.
Expert consultation: We collaborate with medical experts in relevant fields to gain insight into the standard of care that should have been provided during the surgery. These experts help us understand whether the healthcare professionals involved in the case deviated from the expected standard of care and if this deviation resulted in harm to the patient.
Investigation of the medical facility: Our team may investigate the medical facility where the surgery took place to uncover any patterns of negligence, lapses in safety protocols, or issues with staff training and supervision. This information can be crucial to building strong surgical malpractice claims.
Patient and witness interviews: We may interview the patient, their family members, and any witnesses to the surgery, in order to gather firsthand accounts of the events and circumstances surrounding the procedure. These testimonies can provide valuable evidence to support a surgical malpractice claim.
By combining a thorough review of medical records, expert consultation, facility investigation, and personal testimonies, our Phoenix firm can effectively assess whether surgical negligence occurred due to a negligent surgeon or another party. Each case is unique and punitive damages awarded by the insurance company may vary.
Hiring a Surgery Malpractice Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
If you or a loved one has been the victim of surgical malpractice, it is crucial to consult with an experienced malpractice lawyer and protect your legal rights. Hastings Law Firm serves clients in the Phoenix area and is recognized as one of Arizona’s best surgical malpractice firms. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases and will fight hard to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and let our team of professionals help you navigate the complexities of your surgical malpractice case.
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