Preventable Surgical Errors

Before, during, and after an operation, physicians and medical staff have established protocols they must follow to prevent serious injuries and surgical mistakes. However, these protocols are not always followed, leaving patients with injuries that should have been prevented. An error can be made by a surgeon, nurse, radiologist, or anesthesiologist who deviates from these professional standards or is negligent when performing a procedure.

Examples of surgical errors include:

Surgical tool errors: If the scalpel accidentally severs or even nicks an important artery or tendon, the result can be significant bleeding that leads to permanent loss of function or even death.

Anesthesia errors: If your anesthesiologist incorrectly administers a general or local anesthetic, this can lead to permanent brain injuries or nerve damage.

Catheter injuries: The improper insertion of a catheter can harm your blood vessels, damage your nerves or introduce air into your bloodstream that can cause serious consequences like a stroke, heart attack or embolism.

Incorrect operations: While these are rare, when a surgeon is careless and operates on the wrong body part, it is tragic. This mistake is often the result of pre-operative negligence by the surgical staff.

If you suspect that your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse, immediately notify the head of the nursing home and document it in writing. Ask the head of the organization to investigate and call you. Then:

  • Make more frequent, unexpected visits
  • Keep a close eye on the abused person
  • Document and photograph any bruises, cuts or bedsores
  • Follow up on your request with the head of the nursing home
  • Document what you are told and other things you observe at the home
  • Make a note of how the staff acts towards you
  • Talk to your loved one and other residents about signs

If you believe a loved one could be suffering from abuse or neglect, you do have options available to you. First off, The Illinois Department of Public Health is in charge of enforcing the Nursing Home Care Act throughout the state of Illinois, and all facilities that fall under the definition of a long term care facility are required to comply with the Act.  First off you can file a complaint with the long-term care ombudsman, who is legally required to investigate your complaint and ensure that the facility complies with the acts required.  If a long-term care facility violates the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and fails to comply can result in a more in-depth investigation, fines, and other penalties for any violations found.

To learn more about the options you have when you suspect that your family member could be the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, we recommend consulting one of our experienced attorneys.