Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide
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Surgical Errors Archives

Stronger malpractice laws may not protect patients

Oregon patients who have been harmed by surgical errors may be interested to learn that stronger malpractice laws may not protect people like them. According to a study, such legislative efforts may actually lead to defensive medicine practices like ordering unnecessary tests in an attempt to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits.

When surgeons operate on the wrong body part or patient

When Oregon patients head into surgery, they expect their surgeon to complete the procedure properly. However, there are instances where surgeons operate on the incorrect side of the body, complete the wrong procedure or perform an operation that was intended for someone else.

Understanding failed back surgery

Some Oregon patients have experienced Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. This affliction occurs when chronic pain continues after a back or neck surgery due to some issue with the procedure. Unlike the normal pain associated with healing, this pain often does not reduce during the healing process and may become worse as scar tissue builds around the surgical site. It is important to understand the symptoms and causes of failed back surgery and distinguish them from normal recovery.

Continued testing may be needed to diagnosis hernias

People in Oregon who experience groin pain might end up receiving an evaluation from a radiologist. Unfortunately, just because something is not found does not mean that something is not there. Small hernias are not always noted by radiologists and surgeons because they are not viewed as likely to cause pain. Physicians may need to be careful to take the right steps when dealing with these occult inguinal hernias.

Surgeon may have removed kidney from wrong patient

Oregon residents may have heard about 'never events" that occur at hospitals on relatively rare occasions. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines a never event as a medical error that should never happen and shows that a health care facility has serious underlying safety problems. A couple of examples of never events are wrong site surgery and wrong patient surgery, errors that take place at individual hospitals about once every five to 10 years.

Total joint replacements and medical malpractice

Many people undergo knee, shoulder or hip replacements at Oregon medical facilities. While they might be concerned about whether or not the replacement joint will work, they often do not expect the surgery itself to cause them harm. If you have had a total joint replacement that left you in a worse condition than what you were in before, it is possible that it might be the result of medical malpractice.

Surgeons often fail to apologize for medical errors

When medical errors occur in Oregon hospitals, guidelines recommend that doctors disclose all of the complications and any mistakes that were made to the patient and the patient's family. However, a survey found that surgeons in 12 different specialty areas often did not follow all of these guidelines.

Rule limiting resident hours is met with dissent

As Oregon residents may have unfortunately discovered firsthand, surgical errors can happen even during routine operations. During major surgical procedures, such as brain surgery, the risk of complications and potential for error increases. The American Council of Graduate Medical Education has recently recognized the possibility of error and implemented a rule limiting the number of hours that a physician in training, also called a resident, can be actively on the job.

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