Medical Malpractice

Surgical Errors – Denver Medical Malpractice Attorneys

According to the American Medical Association more than 4,000 mistakes are made annually during surgery. These surgical errors are often called “never” events, as in they never should have occurred. These events can include leaving surgical instruments behind in the patient, performing a wrong procedure, operating upon a wrong surgical site, or performing a surgery on the wrong patient. While most of the time the injury suffered as a result of these mistakes is temporary, there are occasions when a patient is left with permanent damage. In any case, these events are unacceptable.

Most adverse hospital events take place during surgery, and the most frequent surgical errors include:

  • Foreign object left behind: This is by far the most common surgical mistake, as surgeons leave behind a sponge, towel, or even an instrument inside a patient nearly 40 times a week in the United States.
  • Wrong procedure: It might seem hard to believe, but doctors frequently walk into the operating room and perform the wrong procedure on an unsuspecting patient about 20 times a week.
  • Wrong site: Doctors also regularly operate on the wrong part of the body, as often as 20 times a week.

These mistakes can be costly, and not just financially. Medical errors result in:

  • Death: 6.6 percent of the time.
  • Permanent injury: 32.9 percent.
  • Temporary injury: 59.2 percent.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a surgical error caused by a medical professional, please reach out to us today. We offer a free initial consultation to those who have been injured needlessly by a medical professional. If necessary, we’ll obtain your medical records and conduct the review necessary to determine whether or not we can help you. Call our Denver medical malpractice attorneys today at 303-792-5595 or fill out our FREE Case Evaluation form right away.

Sometimes a piece of medical equipment, such as a tube, sponge, or surgical needle, is left behind in a patient’s body after surgery. When a surgeon or medical professional leaves behind retained foreign bodies, also called retained surgical items, the patient is at increased risk for infection, illness, organ damage, and even death. Although medical professionals usually take great pains to eliminate the risk of retained foreign bodies, these safety measures can easily go overlooked, especially during emergency situations.

The items most often left behind in patients include:

  • Sponges and towels, otherwise known as soft goods.
  • Smaller surgical items, such as broken instruments parts, stapler components, guidewires, and catheters.
  • Needles
  • Instruments.

The failure to remove a surgical instrument or other object after surgery is a serious event. The patient almost always will be forced to undergo another surgery in order to remove the retained foreign body, which comes with its own set of potential complications.

If you’ve been forced to endure a second surgical procedure to remove a foreign object left behind by a negligent surgical staff, you need to contact a Colorado medical injury lawyer as soon as possible. Get in touch with Burg Simpson by calling 303-792-5595 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation Form now so we can help with your case.

lthough wrong site surgery is rare, the results can be disastrous. Any operation can become a wrong- site surgery. For some, these errors can be deadly. Even those whose survive wrong site surgery can be condemned to suffer a lifetime of poor health or disability. Even for those who don’t suffer significant physical harm, still have to carry around the psychological impact for the rest of their lives.

COMMON TYPES OF WRONG SITE SURGERY INCLUDE:

  • Surgery on the wrong vertebral level of the spine.
  • Wrong organ removed.
  • Wrong limb amputated.
  • Surgery on the wrong side of the body.
  • Surgery on the correct site/wrong level or area (such as surgery on the correct hand, but the wrong finger).
  • Surgery on the wrong patient, which can result in reversed procedures where each patient receives the wrong surgery.

Surgical errors are preventable. Certain circumstances, such as emergency procedures, which create time pressures or patients having unusual physical characteristics, can contribute to the risk of wrong site surgery. Proper policies and procedures can significantly reduce risks. In fact, most hospitals and surgical centers include safety protocols to prevent these horrific accidents, such as:

  • Time outs: When the staff pauses to confirm medical orders and records.
  • Inventory: When the staff takes stock of supplies and instruments used to ensure everything is accounted for.
  • Indelible ink: Staff are starting to use this to mark the site of the surgery.

COMMON MISTAKES AND CIRCUMSTANCES INCLUDE:

  • Sloppy pre-surgery planning.
  • Incomplete patient assessment.
  • Failure to observe “time out” before surgery.
  • X-rays read backwards.
  • Inadequate site marking procedures.
  • More than one surgeon involved in a procedure.
  • More than one procedure or surgical site involved in one surgical session.
  • Poor communication between surgical team members.
  • Time pressures.
  • Failure to communicate with patient or patient’s family before surgery.

Surgery on the wrong part of the body or even the wrong patient can have devastating results. Amputation of the wrong limb can mean the loss of both limbs and a lifetime of disability. Removal of the wrong internal organ can change the outcome from improved health to a lifetime of serious health problems and even death. At the very least, victims of wrong-site surgery lose faith in health care providers and the system overall, which could influence them to avoid life-saving procedures in the future.

If you or a loved one have suffered from wrong-site surgery, don’t wait to call the Denver medical lawsuit attorneys today at 303-792-5595.

Although rare, some of the most tragic examples of medical malpractice involve patients who are paralyzed as result of preventable surgical spinal cord injury, which is a spinal cord injury sustained during surgery. Each year, numerous individuals suffer life-altering and painful spinal cord injuries as a result of negligent care. These are typically a result of a surgeon’s physical mistake or an error in anesthesia administration.

Spinal cord injuries usually cause severe swelling of the spinal cord from the location of the injury downward. As such, patients with spinal cord injuries to the upper part of the spinal column suffer from a greater loss of function and mobility, as more of their bodies are affected.

Spinal cord injuries fall into two main categories:

  • Complete (Total) Spinal Cord Injuries – no functioning below the level of injury; or
  • Incomplete (Partial) Spinal Cord Injuries – some feeling and/or movement below the injury, but impaired.

Disabilities Associated With Spinal Cord Injuries

Victims of spinal cord injuries can experience a wide range of health issues beyond a loss of mobility, including:

  • Quadriplegia.
  • Paraplegia.
  • Loss of muscle control.
  • Loss of bladder/bowel control.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Infections.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Ventilator dependence.
  • Dependence on tube feeding.
  • Depression/anxiety

Anesthesia Errors

OUR DENVER MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS CAN HELP

If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury because of a medical provider’s carelessness, reach out to us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation of your case. Call the Colorado medical malpractice lawyers at 303-792-5595 or complete our Free Case Evaluation Form as soon as possible.

Burg Simpson Sues Feds over Floodwater Release

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Burg Simpson Sues Feds over Floodwater Release

Late one night in September 2013, after days of constant rainfall, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation opened the floodgates of Olympus Dam in Larimer County, Colorado. More than 5,000 cubic feet of water per second rushed down the Big Thompson River, destroying several homes along the way. Overall, the flooding that year killed 10 people… Read more »

Michael S. Burg’s Hall of Fame Portrait Unveiled

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Michael S. Burg’s Hall of Fame Portrait Unveiled

Temple University unveiled Burg Simpson founder Michael S. Burg’s portrait in its Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame earlier this month. Michael attended the ceremony, where he expressed his concern for the future of the profession. “The framers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence understood the importance of the jury trial and how important… Read more »

Alan K. Simpson Supports Return to Civil Discourse

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Michael S. Burg Discusses Equifax CEO’s Sudden Retirement

 September 27, 2017

Michael S. Burg Discusses Equifax CEO’s Sudden Retirement

Burg Simpson founding shareholder Michael S. Burg spoke with Reuters this week about the abrupt retirement of Equifax CEO Richard Smith following the credit reporting agency’s massive data breach. “They didn’t do anything to protect the consumers and their information,” Burg told the news service, “Then they attempted to keep people from being able to… Read more »

Surgery Errors– Colorado Medical Lawsuit Attorneys – Burg Simpson

 October 16, 2017

Surgical Errors Are More Common Than You Think

It is hard to believe that only heart disease and cancer kill more people in this country than medical mistakes. But it is true. Medical errors kill roughly 250,000 Americans annually. Despite that, only 28 states require hospitals to report these fatal errors, making it especially difficult to track these tragedies. The cost of surgical… Read more »

HR 1215 Bill – Colorado Medical Lawsuit Attorneys – Burg Simpson

 August 10, 2017

Legislation Threatens Medical Malpractice Victims

While Congress distracted the country with the drama of a failed Affordable Care Act repeal vote, lawmakers quietly – and barely – passed HR 1215, the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” on June 28. The bill makes it much harder for victims of medical malpractice to hold health care providers responsible for their… Read more »

Drive Safe – Denver Medical Malpractice Attorneys – Burg Simpson

 July 11, 2017

Lawmakers Revisit Medical Malpractice Caps

The specter of non-economic damage caps have haunted medical malpractice victims – and the attorneys who fight for them – since the 1970s. But its hasn’t seen this level of renewed interest since former President George W. Bush proposed a nationwide cap on medical malpractice awards in 2003. Just before the July 4th recess, the… Read more »

Birth Injury – Denver Medical Malpractice Lawyers – Burg Simpson

 May 16, 2017

A Perfect Storm for Birth Injury — When Staff is Too Busy to Care

When a baby suffers brain damage during the process of labor and delivery, sometimes it’s simply a tragic accident. Sometimes the damage could have been avoided. When that’s the case, and medical professional negligence caused the damage, then the law holds those people responsible. According to the latest “National HealthCare Quality Report,” injuries strike seven… Read more »

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

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A Ring of Fire first! Host Farron Cousins talks to former Senator Alan Simpson in a unique opportunity on Ring of Fire to speak with a Republican about the current state of the Republican Party.

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

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CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

CBS 4 in Denver highlights Burg Simpson attorney Michael S. Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

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Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Denver’s Radio 850KOA ran a news story about Michael Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

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