Many of Oregon’s surgeons perform the same operations numerous times. In many ways, this means that their proficiency for a certain procedure rises dramatically, which can be a good thing for patients. However, at the same time, an operation can become so “routine” to a doctor that the risk of surgical errors increases because he or she has become complacent.
Surgeons have been known to nick organs, arteries and veins during procedures. Other errors that occur include foreign objects such as sponges or instruments being left in a patient. Making a mistake during a Cesarean section could not only put the mother at risk, but the infant as well. If a surgeon fails to notice that an error occurred, the patient’s life may be at risk.
The hours and days after a surgical procedure are also critical. If a patient is not properly monitored, any mistakes made during the procedure might not be noticed in time to minimize the damage. Furthermore, a patient can contract a life-threatening infection if surgical wounds are not attended to properly. It is also important for doctors and surgeons to compile as complete a family and medical history prior to the procedure.
Surgical procedures might become routine to the medical personnel who perform them, but for Oregon patients, nothing is routine. When surgical errors occur, you could end up with permanent injuries — or lose a loved one. It would be beneficial to talk to an attorney if you suspect medical malpractice. Establishing that negligence caused or contributed to your injuries — or the death of your loved one — could result in an award of damages to help with the financial losses caused by the mistake.