Think about how much trust we put in a medical team when we agree to an operation. Whether you are having minor surgery for an ingrown toenail or a quadruple bypass, surgery involves us putting a great deal of faith in the person holding the scalpel.
Tragically, mistakes before, during and after surgery can happen, and, when they do, they can be life-changing. If a surgical mistake was made due to negligence on the part of a medical professional, you might be able to claim compensation. This can allow you to fund rehabilitation treatment if required, pay for any counselling if you have suffered mental trauma as a result of the surgical error and pay your bills if you are unable to work as a result of the surgical malpractice.
At IBB Law, we have years of expertise and experience in handling compensation claims involving surgical negligence. Our solicitors deal with all claims compassionately and have an in-depth understanding of medical and negligence law. We will take the time to listen to your experience, gather the right evidence (including expert opinion where required) and robustly manage your claim through the settlement process.
Our strong track record of success speaks volumes, and many of our clients come to us via word of mouth recommendations. With our knowledge and understanding of surgical malpractice and error, you will be confident that your surgical error claim has a strong chance of succeeding.
What is surgical negligence?
All surgery involves some degree of risk; however, if your surgeon makes a mistake, fails to explain complications that may occur post-surgery before you sign the consent form or the aftercare following surgery proves to be inadequate, then negligence may have occurred.
Surgical errors can result from a lack of training and experience, the surgeon being overburdened and tired or a failure in communication.
Complications from surgery may also develop days, weeks or even months after your operation. If it can be proven that the problems were caused by surgical negligence, then you may be able to claim for compensation.
Why do surgical errors occur?
Even doctors make mistakes. However, surgical errors can kill or cause serious, life-changing injuries. Despite checks being put in place, for example, counting sponges and other equipment before and after surgery, using surgical checklists, and indelible ink to mark the site of the surgery, blunders still occur.
According to research released in 2016, 1,200 serious unacceptable events have occurred in hospitals in England over the last four years. These included operating on the wrong patient or the wrong limb, objects being left inside the body, and a kidney removed instead of an ovary.
Unnecessary surgery can occur due to a clinical, communication and/or administrative error. Tiredness and lack of training can also contribute to surgical negligence and malpractice.
What are some examples of surgical errors?
Many surgical errors are referred to as ‘never events’. Never events are the kind of surgical mistakes that should never happen, hence the name given to them.
NHS has a list of 14 ‘never events’ – surgery errors that can cause severe harm or death, and that should never occur because there are robust policies and procedures in place to prevent them. Examples include a negligent surgeon operating on the wrong part of a patient’s body, scalding a patient and leaving objects in a patient’s body after an operation.
The failure to advise patients of all the accepted alternative courses of action and the risks associated with them (in non-emergency medical procedures) is also considered to be medical negligence as the surgeon, or other medical professional has not obtained the patient´s informed consent. Some examples of cases we've dealt with include:
- Brazilian butt lifts.
- Breast implants.
- Cosmetic eye surgery.
- Dermal filler.
- Earlobe filler.
- Vaginal rejuvenation.
- Laser skin resurfacing.
- Non-surgical nose contouring.
- Penis enlargement surgery.
What should I do if I have been a victim of surgical negligence?
If you are a victim of surgical negligence, you should contact an experienced clinical negligence solicitor to discuss making a surgical error claim as soon as possible. You may also wish to use the NHS complaints procedure to help you understand what happened to cause your injury; however, this is not required in order to make a compensation claim.
If you do choose to utilise the NHS complaints process, the investigation can run parallel to your surgery negligence compensation claim unless the judge decides that the NHS complaints procedure would interfere with the compensation case, but this rarely occurs in practice.