A mistaken cut during surgery leading to internal bleeding is a medical emergency. If immediate treatment for the cut is not provided it can result in serious complications, including death. Whether or not you or a loved one has a medical malpractice case as a result of a surgical cut or laceration depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. There are also various ways in which your surgeon or other medical care providers could have been negligent in this scenario.
How Can You Determine If There Was Negligence On The Surgeons Part?
The first, and most obvious, question you will likely have is whether the surgeon was negligent in cutting you and causing the internal bleeding. While this may seem like an easy yes to you, that is not always the situation. Sometimes – perhaps because of a person’s anatomy, heavy scar tissue, etc. – the surgery can be a difficult one and the cut may be seen as an accepted and known risk of the surgery. I.E. that a reasonable surgeon in a similar circumstance would have caused the same cut even acting carefully. Other times the cut will be seen as negligence. Sometimes it may be possible to have an initial impression of the case based on the cut itself. Typically though, whether or not causing the cut was negligent is a question that can only be answered by going through records and consulting with a medical expert.
Even if there was no negligence in creating the cut, the surgeon or his team could be negligent for not noticing the internal bleeding coming from the cut. There could be a variety of reasons for this – the skill and experience of the surgeon, the surgeon not waiting enough time to check and make sure there is no internal bleeding after finishing the surgery, other external factors causing the surgeon and his team to rush to completion, etc. Again whether or not the surgeon waited an appropriate amount of time to check for bleeding, and if the surgeon should have noticed internal bleeding before closing you or your loved one up, will be determined by a review of records and consultation with medical experts. In addition, working with an attorney specializing in surgical malpractice can make sure you’re prepared for your case and the questions that may be asked by other attorneys.
Can There Be Negligence For Discharging A Patient Too Early?
Finally there could be negligence on the part of the surgeon and his medical team for discharging you and not giving you emergent treatment if you have ongoing internal bleeding from a surgical cut. Following the surgery you will be sent to the recovery room where your vital signs, blood pressure, etc. will be monitored. A drop in blood pressure, the need for blood packs, and a general decompensation (that failure of a patient’s organs) can all be signs that you or your loved one has internal bleeding that needs to be addressed. If the surgeon misses or does not understand the signs of someone who has internal bleeding, and does not immediately act on them (such as having you sent back to the operating room to open you back up and address the bleeding) that surgeon may be negligent.
There also could be some negligence on the part of any medical staff monitoring the patient if they do not immediately contact the surgical team while a patient is decompensating. However ultimately it is the surgeon’s call on whether or not a patient needs to go back to the operating room to address any serious issues a patient may be having after surgery. Finally there could be claims against the hospital itself for not having sufficient policies set up so that the surgeon, the surgeon’s team, and the medical staff are communicating and following up with each other about a patient in critical condition following surgery.
The Thistle Law Firm is experienced in handling claims involving cuts and internal bleeding following surgery. Hospitals and doctors can make mistakes – and victims of these mistakes deserve justice. If you or a loved one suffered serious harm due to a surgical cut the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call at 215-568-6800.