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Negligent Surgery Compensation Solicitors - Medical Negligence Claims - Australia

HELPLINE: 1800 224 077

Australian surgeons undergo many years of study and training. Whilst the majority of surgeons exhibit high standards of technical and medical expertise most of the time, occasionally things do go wrong. Surgery is risky by nature and sometimes complications occur even when the best care is provided. But what recourse does a patient have when negligent surgery has been performed below the expected standard of care? Patients who are harmed by a botched job may be able to instruct a negligent surgery medical negligence compensation solicitor to sue for personal injury compensation when there has been a breach in duty of care by a medical professional.

We have all heard horror stories relating to wrong site surgery, amputation of the wrong limb, surgical instruments being left inside patients. The sad reality is that many of these negligent errors can be easily prevented.

Medical Negligence Solicitors - Botched Surgery Compensation Claims

If you are unhappy with the level of care that you have received by a surgeon, anaesthetist, nurse or hospital, you have the right to complain to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or the health care complaints authority in your State or Territory. If you have suffered a surgical or medical error that has resulted in an injury or disability, or if a family member has died as a result of surgery, it is best to speak with an experienced medical negligence solicitor who can advise you of your compensation rights.

Our medical negligence solicitors have handled many cases involving surgery errors. They can advise you as to whether you can claim compensation under the law of negligence. Call our helpline, complete the contact form or send an email for obligation-free legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

Surgical Specialists

Whatever the type of surgery, we can advise you of your rights to compensation. Our medical negligence solicitors have handled claims against surgeons including:

  • General Surgeons
  • Colorectal Surgeons
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeons
  • Hand Surgeons
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Head and Neck Surgeons
  • Paediatric Surgeons
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
  • Cosmetic Surgeons
  • Urologists
  • Gynaecologists
  • Vascular Surgeons
  • Dental Surgeons / Oral Surgeons

Botched Surgery Disciplines

Medical negligence law is a highly specialised field, requiring detailed knowledge of civil law, legislation and medico-legal concepts. To ensure the best possible outcome in your case, it is best to seek the advice of an expert medical negligence lawyer. Contact us today to find out how our clinical experts can help you. The areas that most concern a medical negligence solicitor are as follows:-

    Laparoscopic Surgery

    Laparoscopic surgery (or keyhole surgery) is one area where it is especially important that the surgeon has adequate training and experience in skilfully performing the laparoscopic procedure. Medical negligence cases in this area generally involve:

    • Inadequate clinical examination for the existence of comorbid health conditions that contraindicate laparoscopic surgery.
    • Failing to follow-up on complications of a laparoscopic procedure in a timely manner.
    • A surgeon failing to refer a patient to a more skilled surgeon, and subsequently performing laparoscopic surgery in circumstances where their technical skills are inadequate. Certain laparoscopic procedures require a high level of expertise and training.

    Wrong Side Surgery

    Operating on the wrong side or wrong site is inexcusable. The surgeon should always verify any x-rays of the patient, the position of the patient on the table in the surgical suite, and carefully review the patient's medical records prior to starting the operation.

    Foreign Bodies Left Behind

    Foreign bodies left inside patients usually involve broken instruments with retained pieces, needles, and sponges. To prevent this from occurring, instrument, needle, and sponge counts should be undertaken prior to surgery. A second count should be taken before the skin is closed, and another after the skin is closed. If there is an error, there is still time to remove the foreign body before the anaesthetic has worn off. However in many cases, the error is not discovered until much later, after the patient complains of symptoms, pain, discomfort, fever and infection, and further testing such as an x-ray is carried out.

    Vascular Injuries

    Vascular injuries are often not the result of negligence. However, vascular compromise due to delayed correction is often inexcusable. Compartment syndrome is just one type of vascular complication that needs to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

    Haemorrhage (internal bleeding)

    Haemorrhaging during surgery may or may not be the result of negligence. If excessive bleeding does occur (for example, if a major artery or vein is nicked by a surgical instrument), this needs to be attended to in a timely manner, as blood loss can lead to anaemia, the need for blood transfusions, shock, sepsis and in severe cases death.

    Nerve Injuries

    Damage to nerves can be caused by physical damage (bruises, cuts) resulting from surgical instruments. Examples of nerve injuries: injury to vagus nerve and laryngeal nerve during thymectomy resulting in vocal cord paralysis; femoral nerve injury during pelvic surgery.

    In a spinal epidural (regional anaesthesia), the injection may cause damage to the spinal cord.

    Organ Damage

    Perforation of organs is another inherent risk of surgery. When these complications occur they need to be diagnosed and rectified as quickly as possible. Ureteral injury is one of the most serious complications of gynaecologic surgery. Less common than injuries to the bladder or rectum, ureteral injuries are far more serious and troublesome and are often associated with the formation of uretero-vaginal fistulas. Other examples of organ injury during surgery include:

    • Laceration of bladder during pelvic surgery.
    • Damage to common bile duct during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
    • Failure to diagnose bowel perforation during abdominal surgery, resulting in peritonitis.

    Anaesthetic Errors

    Pre-operative assessment and evaluation for anaesthesia is recommended. A pre-anaesthetic physical examination should include assessment of the airway, lungs and heart. Pre-operative tests should be ordered when indicated, and other consultations organised when appropriate.

    During the operation, surgeons and anaesthesiologists must pay close attention to the amount of bleeding, the potential need for transfusions, the patient's blood pressure, the amount of fluids given, and many other things to ensure patient safety and well-being. Failure to perform these observations and to take reasonable care can result in complications such as anaesthesia awareness, permanent brain damage, nerve damage, paralysis, paraplegia or even death.

    DVT and Blood Clots

    Measures should be taken to reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the patient's legs (deep vein thrombosis). The patient should be given compression stockings to wear during and after the procedure to maintain adequate blood flow in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition which can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism and death.

    Wound Infections

    Infections can occur with the best efforts to prevent them. However when they do occur, it is often necessary to take bacterial cultures, followed by administration of an appropriate antibiotic.

Medical Negligence Solicitor

If you would like legal advice at no cost and without further obligation, from a specialist medical negligence solicitor contact our legal team today. We can provide general advice over the telephone and in most cases legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis.

We have acted for many patients who have received poor treatment in elective surgery, emergency surgery, in public hospitals, private hospitals and in private clinics. We have also assisted many families in coronial inquests involving the death of a family member as a result of surgery.

Please be aware that there are strict time limits when making medical negligence compensation claims, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

HELPLINE: 1800 224 077