Negligent post-operative care (what it means & how to file a claim)
After a patient undergoes surgery or some other invasive medical procedure, they will typically require post-operative care. Post-operative care involves monitoring the patient’s condition and providing the patient with instructions to follow once they are discharged from a medical facility. Post-operative care is intended to ensure that a patient heals and recovers from their procedure and does not suffer any complications, such as infection.
Unfortunately, sometimes medical providers will render negligent post-operative care to patients, resulting in complications that can lead to significant medical harm. A patient who suffers post-operative complications may need to be hospitalized, undergo another surgery, or in extreme cases, die.
Common Post-Operative Complications
Some of the most common kinds of post-operative complications that arise from negligent care include:
- Shock – A condition that occurs due to a significant reduction of blood flow throughout the body. This means that oxygen and nutrients cannot get to organs and tissues, which begin to die off.
- Bleeding – Continued or excessive bleeding from a surgical site can lead to dangerous blood loss, which itself may lead to shock, death, or multi-organ failure.
- Infection – one of the main risks of surgery is that surgical wounds can become infected. Infections can happen even when a patient receives excellent care. What’s important is that the patient is monitored for signs of infection, and if detected, treated promptly. .Left untreated, surgical infections can lead to the development of potentially fatal conditions such as gangrene or sepsis. Monitoring typically includes blood work, overall temperature, and observation of the area where the surgery occurred.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)– A condition involving the development of blood clots in the veins of the legs. Surgical patients are doubly at risk for DVTs because they tend to be less mobile, which allows the blood in their legs to pool. In addition, the body’s natural reaction to surgery is to increase the blood’s clotting ability. A clot that breaks free in the bloodstream can cause life-threatening conditions or death.
- Pulmonary embolisms – A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency that occurs when a pulmonary artery is blocked by a blood clot that has traveled to the lungs. The primary symptoms are the sudden onset of shortness of breath, chest pain unreduced by rest, and coughing, particularly if there is blood-stained sputum.
When Can You Sue for Malpractice?
Just because a patient suffers post-operative complications does not necessarily mean they are entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A medical malpractice claim arises only when health care providers fail to render care in accordance with the accepted standard of care. The standard of care is normally defined as the treatment actions and decisions that another provider of similar training and experience would undertake in identical circumstances. In other words, post-operative complications may not be the result of malpractice if other medical providers would have rendered the same care. In addition, most malpractice attorneys only accept cases when there are permanent, long-term damages.
What Can You Recover in a Negligent Post-Operative Care Claim?
If you have been the victim of negligent post-operative care, you may be entitled to recover compensation for losses that you incurred due to malpractice, including:
- Costs of medical treatment for complications suffered post-surgery
- Loss of wages or income due to not being able to work because of post-operative complications
- Physical pain from complications
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life due to scarring/disfigurement, physical disabilities, or reduced life expectancy
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Medical Malpractice Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Clark hospital malpractice attorneys at Team Law are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and hospitals throughout New Jersey, including New Brunswick, Passaic, Elizabeth, Newark, Jersey City, Union City, and Bayonne. Call us today at (732) 540-1394 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, and we also have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.