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It is a question that no surgery patient wants to consider: what will you do if something goes wrong during your surgery? While many of us hope never to ask that question, it’s imperative to be prepared should it occur. If something unexpected happens during your surgery or whilst you are in hospital care, here are some helpful steps to move forward.
Fix the Error
This is paramount: if you are the victim of a medical mistake, the error needs to be immediately corrected. You can discuss the rectification with your current doctor, or you may choose to seek the opinion of a third-party medical professional.
If you do not pursue medical attention at once, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to further complications. A 2016 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found medical errors to be the third largest cause of fatalities. Thus, to avoid these statistics, make certain to have any malfeasance expediently corrected.
Communicate with Your Surgeon
The best way to navigate a botched surgery is to communicate with your surgeon and doctors. To understand what went wrong, you will need their input and explanation. Be open, honest, and —most importantly— receptive to their words. What they say now is crucial for your personal understanding of the situation and how to progress. Their words will also be important to record should you decide to pursue legal action.
If you believe your surgeon has kept valuable information from you, has misconducted your procedure, or has proven themselves to be untrustworthy, then you have no obligation to return to their office. Instead, seek a second opinion within a more trusted physician.
Compile Your Paperwork
In order to successfully prove negligence, you will need to amass a large amount of paperwork. This step is imperative to add validity to your case and to establish a timeline. This will begin with procuring a copy of your informed consent document. These documents relieve the medical establishment of some fault; yet, they do not stave off serious complications. Make certain that your case does not fall under the document’s stipulations.
The other paperwork you will need are written notations of the entire process. As soon as wrongdoing has been discovered, you need to begin documenting immediately. Write down the transcription of meetings, phone calls, and other relevant interactions. Take pictures of the affected area to establish photographic evidence. Most importantly, make certain that every note contains accurate dates, times, scenarios, and locations. This thorough documentation elevates the argument from vague complaints and establishes a comprehensive timeline of events.
Contact the State Medical Board
Once you have compiled your evidence, it is time to share it with your local state medical board. It’s important to note that, while it is plausible that accidents can happen, some accidents can be the difference between life and death. The Journal of Patient Safety posits that the number of premature deaths due to medical errors could amount to over 400,000 per year.
Thus, if a surgeon has recklessly compromised your health and vitality, then it becomes your civic duty to alert the proper authorities. Your local medical board has the power to act and make certain that what happened to you will never happen again.
Take Legal Action
If you believe yourself to be a victim of surgical malfeasance, your best course of action is to contact a medical malpractice attorney. These specialized lawyers have the experience and skill set to fight for you in the face of wrongdoing. They will take your carefully compiled evidence and assist you throughout your case. They will also help you seek compensation for your traumatic experience. This could include everything from the cost of taking time off work to recompense for corrective surgery.
There are myriad qualified firms to choose from, so make certain to conduct research into the practice that is right for you. Many practices, such as these Toronto surgical errors lawyers, feature an online chat function for easy access. This allows you to easily connect with competent professionals who can guide you through litigation.