doctor looking disappointed after surgical error

St. Louis Surgical Error Lawyer

Surgeons have guidelines and procedures to follow to help ensure surgeries are safe and effective. However, surgeons and their staff are still capable of making errors that can result in a severe or fatal injury to the patient.

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, turn to the St. Louis surgical error attorneys of Sumner Law Group, LLC, to learn about your legal rights. Our team has more than 50 years of collective experience helping those who have been hurt due to surgical mistakes. Our firm works with a network of highly regarded medical experts to build strong, persuasive arguments in complex cases like these. Over the years, we have earned a track record of successful results for our clients.

Contact our firm today for a free case review with a knowledgeable St. Louis surgical error lawyer. You can rest assured that you will receive excellent representation without the need to pay upfront fees. We handle cases like these on a contingency fee basis. That means we do not get paid unless we win compensation on your behalf.

Common Causes of Surgical Errors

Standard protocols exist for physicians and their staff. These protocols are to be followed prior to, during, and after surgeries. Despite these protocols, these types of mistakes can still happen:

  • Inadequate preoperative planning. The patient’s complete medical history, including reactions to medications, must be available to the medical providers. Those providers must then determine the risk posed to the patient by that specific surgical procedure.
  • Miscommunication. Surgeons may incorrectly read a patient’s reaction to a drug or the dose of a drug. The surgeon may have been misinformed about material issues affecting the surgery. A staff person or nurse may bring in the wrong patient, or mark an incorrect surgical site. Surgical sponges or equipment may inadvertently be left inside a patient, despite requirements that all surgical equipment be accounted for post-procedure.
  • Fatigue and drug use. Medical personnel often work long hours. If they have chosen to take drugs to remain alert, their judgment may be faulty.
  • Neglect. The use of defective surgical equipment or improperly sterilized instruments can lead to sepsis, septic shock, infection, and life-threatening conditions.
  • Incompetence. Despite years of training and study, not all surgeons are able to perform surgical procedures with reasonable competency.
  • Failure to monitor. Surgical and anesthesia teams must monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgery for any signs of distress. Staff may fail to notice or properly react to a patient whose vitals drop or who begins to have complications during a procedure.
  • Failure to consult. Surgeons often specialize in certain types of surgeries. If surgical complications occur that are outside of the surgeon’s knowledge or experience, the surgeon may fail to call in another specialist, exposing the patient to the risk of complications.

To prove that a patient’s surgery fell below the accepted standard of care, our medical malpractice attorneys must carefully examine a patient’s hospital records, interview or depose all staff involved when a surgical error occurred, and remain objective and highly skilled medical experts.

Examples of Surgical Errors

Examples of some of the types of errors that surgeons and surgical teams may make during patient procedures include:

  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Performing the wrong procedure on a patient
  • Incorrect incisions
  • Leaving equipment inside a patient
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Nerve damage
  • Anesthesiology errors, including giving too little or too much anesthesia or failing to monitor the patient for complications during the surgery

Common Types of Surgical Error Cases We Handle

At Sumner Law Group, LLC, our experienced St. Louis surgical error lawyers work on cases involving:

  • Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery
  • Hernia surgery
  • Open abdominal surgery
  • Bariatric surgery/gastric bypass
  • Heart surgery
  • Spinal surgery

Compensation for Surgical Errors

A surgical error can leave you with long-lasting injuries, complications, and disabilities.

You may be entitled to compensation for these types of losses:

  • Additional surgeries or medical procedures to repair damage
  • Long-term recovery and personal care, such as physical rehab or home health services
  • Lost income and earning capacity
  • Lost quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

What Do You Have to Prove in a Surgical Error Lawsuit?

Not every adverse outcome from surgery is caused by a surgical error, and not every error constitutes medical malpractice. To recover compensation in a surgical error lawsuit, you must establish that the actions made by your surgeon or the medical team fell below the accepted standards of care.

Accepted standards are typically determined by whether another reasonable medical provider of similar training and skill when acting in identical circumstances, would make the same actions or decisions that your provider made. If other surgeons or surgical staff would have acted in the same manner as your surgical team did, the law will not impose liability for any adverse outcome.

You must also prove that the alleged error in your surgery directly caused you to suffer some type of injury or harm. For example, if you suffer complications during your surgery, you must prove that those complications were caused by the actions of your surgeon or the surgical staff. The complication cannot be one that simply arose from the risks of your surgery.

In many surgical error cases, you will need to secure testimony from a medical expert. The expert is usually another surgeon in the same specialty as your surgeon. That expert must give an opinion as to how your surgeon’s conduct fell below the accepted standard. However, in some surgical error cases, a surgeon’s or surgical team’s negligence speaks for itself, such as when surgical equipment or materials are left inside a patient. Lastly, you will need to make sure you file within the statute of limitations.

Talk to a St. Louis Surgical Error Attorney Now

As a patient, you have a right to expect that the surgeon and medical staff responsible for your procedure will make you better, not worse. When something goes wrong, you deserve answers.

Contact a knowledgeable surgical error lawyer from Sumner Law Group, LLC right away to discuss your situation. We have the skills and experience necessary to identify whether your surgeon failed to meet an acceptable standard of care. If this is the case, we will aggressively seek full and fair compensation for you.