Experienced Calgary Surgical Negligence Lawyers Assisting Clients for Over 20 Years
Any surgery comes with its own set of inherent risks, which will vary depending on the type of procedure being performed, and the circumstances of the patient. Doctors are required to inform their patients of all the risks associated with their particular procedure, and patients must sign a consent form in order for the surgery to proceed. By signing the consent form, the patient is acknowledging that they have been informed of the potential risks of injury and/or death, and are consenting to the surgery. However, surgical errors can occur before, during, or after the procedure, which may result in grave consequences for the patient.
At Cuming & Gillespie, our highly experienced team of lawyers has successfully pursued surgical negligence claims and are considered leaders in this field. With 20 years of experience we are familiar with surgical negligence cases and injuries stemmed from them. We ensure you get maximum compensation. All of our cases are taken on a contingency basis. That means you do not pay unless we are successful. We take on the entire upfront cost to investigate your injuries, order and review your medical charts, locate and consult with the best medical experts in North America, and build a strong case.
Types of Surgical Errors
Surgical errors are often preventable, and are usually the result of one or more of the following issues:
All doctors are required to stay up-to-date with medical procedures and treatments. Surgeons, in particular, must stay current with surgical procedures and are required to show they have the competent skills required for the surgery they are about to perform. If they perform a surgery that is beyond their skill level and training, or is new to them, an unintended injury may occur.
Inadequate Pre-Surgery Planning
Prior to surgery, surgeons and their team are required to have a very detailed pre-surgery plan in place, (also known as a “pre-operative plan”). This allows for the surgical team to plan for any potential complications that may arise and allows them to remedy any issues while they are in surgery. Medical records and surgical techniques should also be reviewed prior to surgery.
Fatigue is a major issue for doctors, especially surgeons. Some surgeons and their teams work extremely long hours. Sometimes they complete one procedure over the course of an entire day, while other times, they complete over a dozen in a shift. Naturally, they become tired, and it is common to see errors occur during surgery due to fatigue.
Surgeons Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Due to the extremely demanding nature of their jobs, some surgeons turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with the stress, or to keep themselves going through a long day or an intensive procedure. If a surgeon or any member of their team was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a surgery, and an injury occurred before, during, or after surgery as a result, the patient may have a strong surgical error medical malpractice claim.
In most countries, including Canada, operating rooms and hospitals are overbooked and very busy. Occasionally, the surgical team may rush through procedures in order to provide treatment to all their patients. They may also operate with little resources. These can both lead to a preventable error.
Miscommunication or a Lack of Communication
Communication during surgery is vital. All members of the surgical team must be competent and careful listeners to ensure that all directions and requests are communicated and heard properly during surgery. A miscommunication in medication dosages, or having the necessary equipment ready prior to surgery, could be catastrophic for the patient.
Pursuing A Claim
Not all surgical errors are obvious. Some are subtle, and happen internally, such as injuring a nerve, leaving equipment inside the patient, or administering the wrong medication or in the wrong dose. Others, such as operating on the wrong body part, are clear and obvious. Regardless, these errors are all avoidable and can be the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
As with other medical malpractice claims, in order to prove a surgical error arose from the negligence of the surgeon or their team, a patient must show that the conduct fell below the accepted standard of care compared to a reasonably competent surgeon practicing in the same area under similar circumstances. The patient must also have been injured in some way due to the breach in the standard of care in order to bring a lawsuit. Negligence is not enough, there must be some sort of harm to the patient as a result of the negligence.
Experienced Lawyers Are Key to A Successful Claim
At Cuming & Gillespie, we take our time reviewing your case, consult with medical experts, and provide you with an honest evaluation of a potential claim. We are known for being the best at what we do and have the experience and skills needed to get you the compensation you deserve. We have been recognized as a Leading Firm and Leading Lawyers by Lexpert. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a surgical error as a result of negligence by a surgical team, contact us at 403-571-0555 or online to book a free consultation.