When you go into the hospital for an operation, it is reasonable to hope that the surgery will go well and you will emerge better than before. However, it’s unreasonable to think that this will happen to every patient entering for surgery.
Some surgeries are more straightforward than others, and some are last-ditch attempts to save someone. Add to that the unpredictability of the human body, and it is natural that surgery will sometimes fall short and fail to achieve its goal.
You cannot sue a hospital or doctor just because your surgery did not turn out as well as you hoped. However, you may be able to if there were significant mistakes by the medical staff.
Your chances are higher if there was a “never” event
The National Quality Forum (NQF) has created a list of things that should never happen to any patient. They are inexcusable errors that all hospitals could have avoided by taking the proper precautions. They identified 29 things. Here are some of the examples specific to surgery:
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
- Performing surgery on the wrong limb
- Performing the incorrect surgical procedure
- Leaving a foreign object inside the patient
- Anesthetic errors causing death during or immediately after surgery
Other never events that could also affect you if in for surgery include:
- The person who operated on you was not a licensed doctor
- You were infected by unclean materials
- Staff discharged you when unfit to leave
If a never event happened to you, it will still not be straightforward to claim compensation. The standard for medical malpractice claims is much higher than most other injury claims. Having legal help to build your case will be crucial.