For most people, the idea of facing surgery is stressful and frightening. When you undergo surgery, you are placing your life in the hands of surgeon and the surgical team, trusting them to perform their jobs so that you can return to good health. However, sometimes surgeons and the operating teams can make terrible mistakes, which can result in serious health problems rather than healing.
Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to help protect yourself from surgical errors. First, before you even agree to surgery, you should always get a second opinion on your case to make sure that you are correctly diagnosed. When a surgeon prepares his or her operating plan, they base it on your diagnosis. Thus, if your diagnosis is wrong, then you can be subjected to the wrong surgery. For instance, if you are diagnosed with a brain tumor, but you actually have an enlarged pituitary gland in your brain, your surgeon can go into surgery unprepared. Lack of preparedness is a main cause of mistakes.
Next, when you fill out all of your medical paperwork, make sure that you stay consistent with your information. As an example, if you put your nickname on your original paperwork but your full name on another document, your doctors can get confused about who you are and what you should have. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, and hospitals see hundreds of patients every year, and they do not always have the luxury of getting to know their patients personally. If you use different names, you can accidentally receive an operation that was intended for another patient.
However, to protect yourself from surgical mistakes, you should try to make sure that you see your surgeon at least once before the actual operation. Although you may not get to talk very long, you need to be very clear about your condition so that the surgeon is fully prepared. Later, this may help a surgeon recognize you if your paperwork is accidentally traded with another person's documents.
Despite all of their training and experience, surgeons and surgical nurses can still make mistakes. If you are the victim of one such mistake, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help you with your pain and suffering. To discuss your case, contact a Philadelphia surgical error attorney from Lowenthal & Abrams, P.C., today.