A study was recently completed by The Doctors Company, and researchers from the medical malpractice insurer found that a number of claims for orthopedic surgery medical malpractice concerned improper patient management. To help reduce the number of claims for these issues, guidelines were drawn up, and they focus on ensuring that patients are aware of potential complications and that medical professionals stay alert for problems.
The amount of information that a patient is given before and after a surgery in terms of their care and signs of potential complications can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is up to medical professionals to ensure that they are looking for signs of trouble and keeping track of the patient's progress. This is especially important for outpatient surgeries, and it may require medical staff to make calls to a patient's home.
It is also important that medical professionals at all levels are aware of indications of complications and that patient concerns are not dismissed. For example, pain is normal following a procedure, but medical staff should ensure that pain is not increasing because it can be an indication of a problem. Doctors should also be sure to make themselves available at all times and not tell nurses that they are not to be disturbed as this can prevent them from being involved if a patient is in severe distress or needs a physician's attention.
Surgical errors can take many forms, including operating on the wrong site or leaving a sponge inside a patient, but they can often be attributed to negligent operating room staff. A patient who has been harmed during the course of a procedure may want to obtain the advice of a medical malpractice attorney concerning the legal recourse that may be available.