Although surgeries are common for a variety of reasons, some procedures do not go smoothly. Problems can arise due to an unexpected medical complication or because of a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, or other hospital employee. Here are some of the common indicators noticed following surgery that may suggest you have a medical malpractice case.
Unexpected or Unusual Complications
One of the most frequent problems associated with medical malpractice is the development of an unforeseen, possibly life-threatening side effect or consequence of the surgery. A dangerous blood pressure spike or drop or heart rate abnormalities can sometimes occur within a normal range of potential complications. But a serious problem that happens without medical forethought or planning that leads to the need for extended treatment, prolonged hospitalization, or other health issues might signify a malpractice issue.
Extreme Symptoms or Blood Loss
Prolonged pain, bleeding, or other side effects could be due to a medical provider’s oversight, negligence, or misdiagnosis. You might wonder if the problem should have been expected or if the doctor completely missed obvious indicators. A surgical procedure that causes extensive blood loss requiring a blood transfusion and possible anemia should be considered as a possibility before surgery and planned for accordingly. A surgical artery nick or unstaunched blood flow is uncommon and should be questioned to determine whether it was caused accidentally or negligently.
Surgery is supposed to address existing health problems and make you feel better. If your health continues to decline, and you suspect the surgery failed and was possibly unnecessary or even detrimental, that may be a symptom of malpractice. Sometimes a person’s health will be stable right after surgery but get worse over time. If the decline can be traced to the surgery, there may be a question of the doctor making a mistake by mishandling the surgery or not following it properly afterward.
Failure to Heal Properly
If a surgery seems to have progressed well, and there are no obvious signs of a problem afterward, yet you do not heal as expected, the doctor’s treatment might be in question. Many things can cause a person not to heal promptly after a surgical procedure, but the doctor should keep a close eye on your recovery and effectively treat any resulting issues. A failure to heal fully is cause for concern that should be explored to discover and treat the cause.
Surgical failures and complications are not always due to malpractice. But they should be carefully explored to rule out possible mistakes by medical practitioners. Talk to a lawyer immediately if you think you might have experienced medical malpractice.
Author information: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.