When a person or a person’s loved one requires a surgical procedure in Fulton County, the procedure itself and the issue it’s designed to correct are usually the main focus. However, there are other factors that must be considered when a surgical procedure is planned and underway. The number of people who are negatively affected by medical professional negligence is high and can lead to injury, death and significantly higher medical expenses. These mistakes happen frequently and wind up costing massive amounts in insurance and liability payments as well as harming patients.
Some of the mistakes that are made include wrong-site surgery and the surgical error of leaving a piece of equipment inside a patient after the surgery has been completed. In the years 1990 to 2010, there were almost 10,000 of these incidents and others. The amount that it cost to compensate people who were injured by these errors totaled $1.3 billion. The numbers are believed to be higher because 90 percent of those who were subject to these mistakes didn’t receive indemnity payments. The number of mistakes each week is believed to come close to 80.
Because there are an estimated 50 million surgeries done each year, the number of these kinds of mistakes is quite small. That, however, doesn’t diminish the amount of damage they can do to those who are victimized by a surgical error. Payouts to patients who were affected by these mistakes was over $133,000 each.
Hospitals and doctors are taking greater caution in trying to prevent these errors with several members of a surgical team checking to ensure that there aren’t any instruments left in a patient by doing independent counts. Briefings prior to the surgery to make certain that the right body part is being operated on and even the right patient is receiving the surgery.
People who have been victimized by medical professional negligence can have their entire lives altered by some instance of carelessness. It can result in an extended hospital stay and the accompanying medical expenses. The person might not be able to return to work in a timely fashion, if at all. The family might need to help care for the person until they are in a better condition. When this type of mistake happens, it’s important to know how to pursue compensation. For that, the matter should be discussed with a qualified attorney.
Source: AMedNews.com, “Surgical Errors: In ORs, “never events” occur 80 times a week,” Kevin B. O’Reilly, Accessed on Sept. 22, 2014