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Did you go home with a surgical souvenir?

Posted in Medical Malpractice on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

Your surgical error case may have happened something like this: You went to the hospital to receive what you thought was a routine hernia surgery. Your surgeon said that everything went according to plan and you may feel a little bit of pain for a few days as you continued to heal.

After you went home, you did feel quite a bit of pain, and you patiently waited for it to abate. Each day, however, the pain continued to increase until it was so unbearable that you went back to the doctor for a check up. The doctor, with a concerned look on his face, asked you to report back to the hospital for immediate surgery.

You had a surgical souvenir

As it turned out, the surgical team in charge of your procedure left a small sponge inside your abdomen. Your body’s reaction to the sponge is what caused the extreme pain following the original surgery.

Fortunately, the issue was easy enough to correct, and now you’re feeling better, but who is going to pay for the expense of the second surgery?

Who is liable for a surgical souvenir?

Your surgeon, the hospital where the surgery was performed, and perhaps other at-fault parties could be liable for financial damages relating to your surgical souvenir. However, you may need to file a medical malpractice claim to collect those financial damages if the hospital or doctor in charge of your care is unwilling to recognize their culpability.

The principal element in any medical malpractice case

The most important element that you’ll need to prove to prevail in your surgical souvenir claim relates to what malpractice lawyers refer to as “the standard of care.” If you can prove that those responsible for your medical care did not act in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of medical care, you may be able to collect damages in court.

The standard of care in a medical context is defined by what a regular physician or medical service provider would have done given the circumstances of your case. In the event of a surgical souvenir, the question is: Would a typical surgeon have forgotten to leave a sponge inside the body of a patient during a typical hernia procedure? As you may have guessed, the answer to this question is “no.” A competent surgeon would never commit a medical error like this.

Get help pursuing your medical negligence claim

Surgical errors happen all the time, and they often result in catastrophic injuries to the patients involved. If you were the victim of any medical negligence, a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can assist you in pursuing your claim for financial restitution and justice by filing a civil court action on your behalf.