Surgical procedures, regardless of what they are, could result in complications for patients. While there may be a number of reasons why these complications may occur during or after surgery, there are some issues that arise directly as the result of negligence on the part of the surgeon or a member of the medical team. One of the common mistakes that occurs in surgery is puncturing, cutting or perforation of nearby organs or parts during surgery.
The body is a complex network of tissues and nerves. When a surgeon attempts to fix a problem in one part of the body, there is the risk of him or her cutting or puncturing an organ, artery or nerve. In some cases, this could have catastrophic or fatal consequences. When surgeons fail to take the necessary steps to avoid these types of mistakes, patients could suffer permanent injuries or even death.
If you or a loved one has suffered a punctured or perforated organ during surgery, it is important that you contact an experienced West Virginia medical malpractice lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options. You need a lawyer on your side who will work relentlessly to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.
Potential Complications That Can Arise
When a doctor makes accidental cuts or punctures organs, the patient’s recovery may be prolonged. He or she may require extended observation after the surgery and most likely face the risk of severe complications. Here are some of the complications that may arise because of these serious surgical errors:
┬À The patient may have to go back into surgery. This is particularly true if the damage is too severe and if the surgeon needs to repair the damage that was caused. In some cases, the patient is brought back to the operating room right away. However, there are cases where the surgeon doesn’t realize that damage has been done. It may be days before the patient begins to exhibit symptoms and the problem is discovered.
┬À The patient may need nursing care because he or she faced an increased risk of suffering complications such as internal bleeding or infections. Nursing staff will be required pay close attention to the patient, and detect and treat any issues that arise. When internal bleeding or infections go undetected, the patient could face life-threatening complications.
┬À The patient may experience a sudden loss of consciousness or even lose his or her life if there is prolonged bleeding. Patients in such cases go into a coma, which then results in death.
┬À In some cases where there is severe internal bleeding, patients may also need a blood transfusion in order to save their lives.
What Are the Symptoms of Internal Organ Damage?
When an internal organ is damaged, patients may suffer excruciating pain and be put in a life-threatening situation. Even if the surgeon is able to act quickly and save the patient’s life, the impact of the injury may become permanent resulting in changes to patients’ quality of life. It could even affect the individual’s ability to work or to enjoy activities he or she loved doing. The symptoms of organ damage include:
┬À Infection or septic shock
┬À Vomiting and nausea
┬À Fatigue and lightheadedness
┬À Increased heart rate or palpitations
┬À Severe to excruciating pain at the site of injury
Examples of Organ Perforation During Surgery
Here are some of the most common types of organ perforation:
Bowel perforation: This refers to any tear, nick, or cut in one of the body’s gastrointestinal organs that is large enough to cause the contents to leak into the abdomen. Like most organ perforation, some of the symptoms include vomiting, fever, chills, and stomach pain. This is a major medical emergency that could lead to life-threatening complications, if not properly treated.
Surgical errors are the leading cause of bowel perforation. This type of damage can occur during conventional and laparoscopic surgical procedures. Bowel perforation could occur during surgery to remove pelvic adhesions. It could happen during a colonoscopy, which is a diagnostic test to detect ulcers, tumors, and signs of inflammation or bleeding. It could also occur during the surgical removal of a women’s uterus, a procedure known as hysterectomy. Bowel perforation can be detected with an X-ray or a CT scan.
If you have suffered a perforated bowel, you will likely need emergency surgery to repair the damage and to remove any foreign material that has leaked into the abdominal cavity. In cases where the situation is serious, the surgeon may have to remove part of the patient’s intestine.
Bladder perforation: This type of injury could occur during a hysterectomy. Injury to the bladder is one of the most common mistakes made during a hysterectomy. It is a common issue in robotic surgery as well.
Ureteral damage: The ureter is the duct by which urine passes from the kidney to the bladder. An injury to the ureter is one of the most serious complications of gynecological surgery. Ureteral injuries are far more serious and troublesome and are often associated with death and loss of kidney function, especially when it is not recognized immediately after surgery. In fact, ureteral injuries are the most common cause for legal action against gynecologic surgeons.
If You Have Been Injured by a Surgical Error in West Virginia
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death due to surgical errors, particularly organ puncture or perforation caused by surgical malpractice at hospitals such as Ruby Memorial Hospital, Monongalia General (Mon General) Hospital, Mon Health Systems WVU University Health Associates, or private clinics in West Virginia, our Morgantown medical malpractice lawyers can help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.
The Robinette Legal Group PLLC is renowned for representing injured victims and their families in personal injury cases, including those that involve medical negligence, throughout the state of West Virginia. Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complex and challenging to navigate. We will work with you to build the strongest case possible, retain medical experts who can provide valuable testimony in your case, and help you hold the negligent parties accountable. Contact us today at 304-594-1800 to discuss your potential case. Initial consultations are free.