Surgical Injuries Stalk Many Hospitals June 23, 2010.

We’d like to think medical errors are on the decline. Sadly, they are not.

Someone had the bright idea in the 70s to do a study on medical malpractice insurance. The results left many with their mouths hanging open in sheer surprise; one out of every 20 patients were medical malpractice victims and one out of every ten died.

A similar study took place in the 80s, but this one focused on hospital records for 50 institutions in New York. In the 31,000 files reviewed, close to 8,000 people had possibly suffered from medical negligence. If you do the math on those figures, it will tell you that one patient in four had a problem. In ten years the ratio dropped from one in twenty to one in four. Now, the stats show that over 100,000 people die every year from med mal errors. When will it stop?

Typically, the most common med mal errors are birth injuries, surgical injuries, bleeding, septicemia, infections, misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and medication mistakes. In the case of birth injuries, if the doctor doesn’t provide adequate care to the mother at any time during her pregnancy, complications may happen during birth. If you have had this experience, you need to discuss your situation with a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer.

Some examples would be not performing the proper blood tests to check for abnormalities, not recognizing respiratory distress, improper prenatal care or failure to provide it, not doing a C-section when necessary, and not taking proper care of a premature baby.

If any of the above does happen, the baby may be born with cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, facial paralysis or sustain a clavicle fracture. All of these accidents can be avoided with proper and attentive medical care.

Numerous med mal injuries take place in the OR, largely due to poor pre-op planning and care. Unfortunately, this may lead to severe and irreparable harm or death. Surgical injuries may involve leaving foreign objects in the patient, performing surgery on the wrong body part or patient, cutting or puncturing internal organs, improper administration of anesthesia, and poor surgical technique.
If any of those incidents happen, it may cause suffocation, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, amputation, coma, cardio problems and brain injuries. These injuries may also be avoided by taking precise care and double checking every step of the surgery.

When it comes to surgery, it’s vitally important that the surgical site be kept sterile. This goes without saying for the OR as well. If the site and/or rooms are not sterile, there is a high risk of infections or bleeding. By law, hospitals are required to have an infection protocol. Sadly, not all of them follow it to the exact letter of the law.

If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, speak to a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer to find out if you have a case and what your rights are under the law.