Even during surgeries that medical professionals perform every day, mistakes may occur that have severe consequences. A Johns Hopkins study published in 2012 in the journal Surgery found that surgical ‘never events’ happen quite frequently. Leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body occurs 39 times per week, for example. Hospital staff should follow a surgical checklist before beginning an operation to avoid many preventable mistakes, though they still may occur.
Patients undergoing a hysterectomy may suffer from mistakes like leaving a foreign object in the body, as well as other surgical mistakes that might occur during a routine hysterectomy, including:
- Nerve injury;
- Bladder perforation;
- Injury to other organs or internal structures; and
- Improper monitoring after surgery.
In some cases, patients contract an infection after surgery. This is an inherent risk in surgical procedures, though failure to take precautions might increase risk. For example, failure to recognize signs of infection and administer proper treatment could lead to worsening of the condition. Similarly, failure to use proper hygiene or use sterile equipment could increase risk as well and are also types of medical negligence.
Other hysterectomy surgery mistakes are discussed below. Whatever the case, if medical negligence caused injury, the patient may pursue a medical malpractice claim against the negligent surgeon or other medical professional.
Bowel, Intestinal & Urinary Tract Injuries
Given the proximity of the uterus to the bowel and intestine, patients who undergo a hysterectomy may be at increased risk for such injuries. If the wall of the bowel is accidentally punctured, the contents can leak into the abdominal cavity, causing serious infection and illness.
Other hysterectomy surgery mistakes may damage the urinary tract. This includes burns from equipment used during the procedure or tears to the bladder or other urinary structures. If not corrected, urine may leak into the abdominal cavity, which can cause serious infection.
What if I have been the victim of a hysterectomy surgery mistake?
These surgical mistakes – whether leaving a foreign body in the patient, perforating an internal organ, or failing to take steps to prevent infection – can create serious ailments and damages. In such cases, patients may sue the doctor responsible for the error. Patients must establish the doctor acted negligently – i.e., in a manner that breaches the standard of care expected of other professionals – and that the negligence caused the injury and damages.
In severe cases, medical mistakes during a hysterectomy have resulted in a patient’s death. In such cases, the family of the patient may pursue a lawsuit against the liable medical professional.
If you have sustained an injury or lost a loved one because of a medical mistake, speak with a lawyer at Ryan, LLP in Cleveland. We can review the details of your case to help you determine if you have a valid lawsuit and can help you pursue fair damages to which you are entitled. Call us at 877-864-9495 or contact us online to set up a consultation.