Surgical malpractice occurs when a surgeon, anesthesiologist or another person involved with a surgical procedure is neglectful towards a patient. In particular, the actions of the doctor or other party involved with the surgery will directly cause harm upon a patient.
What the Term Surgical Malpractice Entails
The doctor is responsible for following all critical steps in a surgical procedure. The steps for a procedure will vary by each option, but they typically entail the doctor reviewing a patient’s body and accurately reading critical measurements. This then leads to the doctor consulting the patient about a procedure, exercising utmost caution during the surgery and then maintaining a safe environment for the patient to be in after the surgery is finished.
Actions Before Surgery
Many cases of surgical malpractice take place due to a doctor failing to give a patient a proper consultation before surgery. Before a procedure, the doctor must analyze the patient and determine what surgical procedure is needed as well as whether or not the patient can physically handle the procedure.
The doctor will have to discuss the procedure being used followed by any alternatives that may be offered. The benefits and risks of the procedure must also be discussed.
There also has to be a sense of informed consent between parties. This means that the patient will provide consent to allow the doctor to perform the surgery.
Actions During the Surgery
Other cases of surgical malpractice will develop as the surgery takes place. In particular, the doctor must do everything one can to avoid potential errors.
Malpractice occurs when a doctor performs surgery on the wrong part of the body. For instance, the wrong organ may be worked upon, or the wrong part of the body may be amputated.
The doctor may also fail to establish a clear line of communication between all members of the surgical team. There are even times when the doctor may not have the experience or knowledge needed to complete a procedure. A doctor could end up leaving surgical tools and items inside a patient’s body or even fail to use sterile equipment during a procedure.
Other common problems that can occur during surgery may entail damages to one’s organs after a doctor punctures a part of the body. Infections may also develop due to bacteria that could have been easily removed before a procedure began.
What Happens After the Surgery?
A doctor must also have a follow-up meeting with a patient to discuss what took place during the surgery. This includes a discussion on what the patient needs to do next and what that person should avoid. The doctor must also confirm that the hospital environment is safe for the patient to be in and that the person will not develop any serious infections while one’s body is still vulnerable.
The doctor is also required to keep the patient under careful observation for a certain period. This includes careful examinations to determine if a patient can be released from a hospital at a given time or if that patient still needs to be held for a little longer.
A patient must discuss one’s surgery with a doctor and confirm that the doctor is safe to deal with to avoid the threat of surgical malpractice.