Q: Is there anything I can do to increase my chances at preventing a surgical error prior to my operation?
Precautions that may help prevent surgery errors even before the procedure begins include confirming the correct procedure will be performed. In addition to medical malpractice prevention measures that involve doctor-to-doctor communication and adequate hospital protocols, patient-doctor communication may also play an important role.
Should a surgery go awry, though, there are legal options available that the patient and his or her family may discuss with a Peachtree City personal injury lawyer.
Recognizing the Issue of Surgical Error
Surgical error is a big talking point when it comes to medical malpractice or negligence lawsuits. A 2012 Johns Hopkins study found that wrong-site and wrong-patient errors are each made at a rate of 20 times a day.
There are many more where the surgery is incorrectly performed, the instruments are not properly cleaned, the wrong medications are used, and the wrong operation is carried out. There are many opportunities for surgical error, but there are certain things that patients can do pre-surgery that may help prevent surgery errors.
Medical Malpractice Prevention: Checklist of Things to Do Before Surgery
Some of the things a victim can do include researching the doctor or surgeon. This means checking into the facilities that are available to him or her and then asking whether the surgeon has performed this procedure successfully in the past.
Secondly, it is important to repeat names and the surgery to the attending surgeons and nurses. This may help prevent a switched chart or wrong room number from causing a patient mix-up. It is also important to listen to the doctor's instructions prior to the surgery. If he or she says not to eat anything after midnight or drink any liquids on the day of the surgery, then follow those instructions very carefully.
If Mistakes are Made During Surgery
If, perchance, a surgeon does make a mistake, contact both a medical professional and a lawyer as soon as possible. A Peachtree City personal injury lawyer can help patients review the details of the case and determine if a lawsuit may be filed if efforts to prevent a surgery error were unsuccessful and the patient experienced serious injury.