3 Tips To Prevent Surgical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice is one of the top three causes of death in the United States. While malpractice can occur in any type of treatment or medical practice, surgery is a common source of malpractice suits. You may think that particularly difficult or dangerous procedures are more prone to malpractice than those that are simple or routine. In fact, it has more to do with the healthcare provider’s state of mind before and during the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself from malpractice.

1. Be Proactive in Asking Questions

Doctors have a responsibility to obtain informed consent before performing any procedures. This means they are supposed to explain what is going to happen during the procedure, what the risks are, and whether there are any alternative treatments available. However, some approach this task in a very perfunctory way, hurrying through the explanation or pressuring you to sign. You should ask any questions you feel are important to your procedure and make sure you understand everything before you consent to the procedure. Don’t sign anything until you are confident that you know what is going to happen. You typically still have the right to sue for medical malpractice even if you signed the forms without receiving adequate information about the procedure, but better to avoid the adverse effect altogether.

2. Ask for a Second Opinion

There is nothing wrong with asking for a second opinion to confirm the initial diagnosis. Don’t worry about offending your doctor by asking. This is a normal protocol, and your doctor should not raise any objections. If you feel your doctor is not providing you adequate care, it is also reasonable for you to find another doctor to perform your surgery. It’s important to put yourself first in this situation and to consider all of your options. In this case, that option is to consult with other medical professionals if you feel it is needed for your circumstance. 

3. Don’t Be Intimidated

If something doesn’t feel right during examinations prior to surgery or the checks performed just prior, speak up. Trust your instincts and ask questions about why something is happening. Prior to the procedure, you typically go through a pre-surgical check during which the doctor confirms your name, the procedure to be performed, the site of surgery, etc. This check is performed to make sure that the doctor has the right patient and is ready to perform the correct surgery on the correct side. It is part of your job to confirm that all the information is accurate. Otherwise, you could become the victim of a wrong-site, wrong surgery error, which can have long-lasting consequences.

Even if you don’t feel you did enough to prevent an adverse outcome, your doctor is still responsible for any mistakes or negligence that occur during the surgery. For assistance with medical issues or malpractice consider reaching out to a medical malpractice lawyer residents turn to from a firm like Hall-Justice