Medical malpractice is a serious problem. The age-old adage, nobody is perfect, exists because
it is true. In fact, humans forget things, drop things, break tools, get
into accidents, and every other mishap imaginable under the sun. Even
with their lengthy education and extensive training helps make doctors
more effective, they still make these errors during their procedures because,
after all, they are human. These mistakes can occur at any time, including
during surgery, pre-op, and recovery, and even basic check-ups.
Experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorneys have seen the myriad
of ways in which medical professionals have made errors. While nobody
is perfect, many errors could have been avoided had the offending party
followed basic, elemental practices and procedures. In fact, many medical
professional errors cause injuries from which the injured can receive
compensation. These types of cases require a medical expert to help prove.
Any successful medical malpractice claim requires the plaintiff-patient
to plead and prove several basic elements; duty, breach, causation, and damages.
A “duty” is what the medical professional owes to a patient
once a doctor-patient relationship is created. It means that the medical
professional must not do, or refrain from doing, any act or omission that
will cause the patient foreseeable and preventable harm. The basic way
that doctors adhere to this duty is by following the prescribed course
of treatment when treating the patient.
A breach occurs when the medical professional departed from the standard
of care due to the patient and the patient suffers injury there from.
Therefore, the breach must be the proximate (natural; direct) cause of
the patient’s injuries.
Lastly, there can be no recovery without damages. Meaning, the patient
must have been caused to suffer a loss; pain, suffering, medical bills,
lost earnings, etc.
There is no one set way for any medical professional to commit medical
malpractice. Surgical errors are common, as are other operating room errors.
Medical malpractice can arise from errors related to the administration
of anesthesia, and from technological errors. The statute of limitations
for a medical malpractice case is two and a half years from the date of
the act or omission.
Common surgical errors involve the operation on the wrong part of a patient’s
body; the left arm instead of the right. Often times something is left
inside the patient that was not intended to be left. For example, sponges,
latex gloves, clamps, sponges, scalpels, etc. are all types of things
that patient’s have had mistakenly left inside of their bodies.
No type of surgery is immune from this type of mistake, whether the surgery
was to rectify cardiac problems, child birth, for plastic surgery, to
repair hernias, or in relation to back surgery.
Operating Room Errors:
As mentioned above, a common operating room error involves leaving a foreign
object inside the patient’s body. Also, doctors have been known
to operate on the wrong part of the patient’s body. Sometimes, the
wrong surgery is performed all together. Other times, the surgery was
performed on the right patient, but on the wrong side of the body. But
errors may also relate to anesthesia mistakes. Some errors even cause
The administration of anesthesia is, and must be, an exact science. Unfortunately,
some medical professionals rush the job, or are inexperienced and improperly
trained. Other times, failing to keep adequate and proper patient records
led to the anesthesia error. Even if the patient’s body is not properly
positioned, harm can result. Serious injury, long term emotional trauma,
and even death are known end results of anesthesia errors.
We all have a friend or family member who often proclaims, “Robots
are taking over the world”. Of course, we know this isn’t
meant literally. The fact is that mechanical and robotic machines assist
many professionals, including surgeons.
This does not mean that the machine replaces that doctor’s skill,
knowledge, and training. The device is meant to assist the surgeon perform
the procedure better and so that the patient may have a quicker recover
with less pain. In short, the doctor must be thoroughly trained on how
to use the device. Fatal infections, excessive bleeding, ruptured arteries,
and other injuries are known to have occurred as a result of errors related
to technology and the improper use thereof.