Startling Surgical Errors
Stories about surgical errors abound in the media. Many of these injuries are the result of a doctor operating on the wrong side of the body or leaving a sponge inside the patient — mistakes that could have been avoided.
“Errors are a concern for everyone facing surgery,” said Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer Chris Mellino, who added that surgeons owe a duty of care to the patient he or she is operating on. “The patient has every right to place their complete faith in the doctor.”
After Kanye West’s mother, Donda, died during a tummy tuck and breast augmentation, an latimes.com blogger researched plastic surgery-related deaths.
“Every association seems to report different numbers,” the post stated. But, according to the FDA, “[D]eaths associated with lipo could be as high as between 20 and 100 per 100,000 procedures.”
That was in 2007.
Two years later, Miss Argentina, 37-year-old Solange Magnano, died of a pulmonary embolism during plastic surgery.
“It is currently not known if Magnano’s death was a result of her surgery and there is no suggestion that it came about through surgical error,” CNN reported, “but there are risks associated with buttock-enhancement surgery.”
Those risks include infection, significant blood loss, and nerve damage, according to the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. “No cosmetic surgery is totally risk free,” he stated and recommended that candidates ask surgeons about their qualifications during their initial consultation.
The question is, can you sue a surgeon if you signed a consent form before the operation?
“These forms give surgeons permission to operate, but they don’t cover what happens if an error occurs during surgery,” said Mellino. “The best thing you can do if you’ve been injured is to consult a medical malpractice attorney. He or she can review your medical records, consult expert witnesses, and determine whether you have a viable claim.”
To schedule a free consultation with our surgical error attorneys, contact our Cleveland office.