If you have to undergo surgery, whether it be on an elective basis or as an emergency procedure, you want to feel that you’re in the safest hands. Anxiety is an understandable reaction to the prospect of surgery, but the vast majority of procedures performed each year by the NHS and private hospitals are successful, helping those in need get the treatment they require.
Unfortunately, surgical errors and negligence happen, and patients may fall victim to substandard treatment, poor technique and a failure to follow established guidelines. With surgical procedures, precision and consistent levels of care are of upmost importance, since a single mistake can cause serious complications and may even prove fatal. When the appropriate level of care is not received, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.
Depending on the severity of the mistakes made during surgery and the impact on your health, you may need people to care for you, help you with your mobility and extended medical care. On top of this, you may require support from your family, need to recover lost earnings, and require counselling.
A medical negligence claim through Hudgell Solicitors could help provide you with such vital support.
If you or a loved one have been affected by errors in surgical procedures, read on to see exactly what you can do to get back on track – it could make a big difference.
What is surgery negligence?
Most surgical procedures have expected side effects and recovery times. These should be discussed with you before any operation to ensure you are happy to proceed. Swelling, the chance of infection and other minor complications are to be reasonably expected – particularly with more extensive or invasive procedures. However, if you have suffered pain or injury outside of what is expected, or risks were not discussed, it may be as a result of a surgical error by the surgeon.
Mistakes made on the operating table can have a huge effect on your quality of life, causing you significant pain, hardship and even preventing you from working.
Simply call us on
01482 778 463 for free advice
Types of surgical negligence
Some of the more common forms of surgical error we see are listed below. There are, however, many other ways that someone might be affected by an error in surgery so, if in doubt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
- Anaesthetic problems (e.g. those resulting in anaesthetic awareness or allergic reaction)
- Mistakes resulting in damage to the brain
- Damage to structures surrounding site of surgery (e.g. nerves and organs)
- Failure to remove surgical instruments and swabs
- Failure to appropriately monitor patient after surgery (e.g. resulting in avoidable complications)
- Poor surgical performance
- Unnecessary or incorrect surgery (such as wrong site surgery)
- Failed sterilisation
Such errors are often completely avoidable. Not only can they have significant physical consequences, but they may also have a lasting psychological impact due to the trauma they cause.
Recent figures have also shown that many surgical errors – which NHS officials openly admit should never happen and are completely avoidable – continue to happen in hospitals across the UK.
Called ‘Never Events’ in the medical profession, because they are serious incidents and errors that are ‘wholly preventable’ and can cause serious harm, happen hundreds of times a year, with almost 1,200 cases recorded in UK hospitals over the past four years.
Mistakes include leaving foreign objects in patients (such as swabs or pieces of medical equipment), to operations taking place on the wrong areas of the body.
Each of these cases would be classed as medical negligence and patients would be likely to have a claim for compensation.
Meet Our Expert: Helena Wood, Clinical Negligence Team Supervisor
“I handle cases of surgical negligence for Hudgell Solicitors and see first-hand the significant impact such errors can have on the victims and their families. Many errors can leave patients with short-term complications and difficulties, both physical and psychological, whilst others can be life-changing, or even fatal.
“We recognise it is a daunting and difficult time undergoing any form of surgery, so for that surgery to go wrong, and a patient to suffer further because of errors made by health professionals, makes for very difficult times.
“We pride ourselves on seeing the person, and not just the claim, and our work is therefore focussed on ensuring our clients are given the fullest possible support in recovering from what has happened to them, and getting their life back on track. That means we place rehabilitation at the heart of our work for you.
“Our approach is to dedicate our expertise and resources to finding out exactly what went wrong and why, holding those responsible to account and seeking compensation which truly reflects the suffering and loss caused.
“Many families come to us having failed to get answers from hospital Trusts, as we have a track record of investigating such cases, finding out what went wrong, and securing settlements to help people recover and rebuild their lives.”
How we can help?
Our team of specialist solicitors have a wealth of experience in handling cases of surgical errors, and will be able to help you work out whether you’ve fallen victim to negligence at the hands of a surgeon. From here, we can then begin to help you establish your case and gather evidence.
Surgical negligence claims can be quite lengthy, so we’ll be here to support you along the way. If the hospital admits they were at fault at an early stage, we can ask for part payment of your compensation claim whilst your injuries resolve.
Our lawyers and medical experts can analyse your medical records to establish exactly what went wrong and how it could have been avoided. This will be combined with a face-to-face assessments with a specialist to work out the extent of your injury and its potential repercussions.
If your claim is successful and your treatment is proven as negligent, you’ll then be entitled to surgery compensation, which can help you regain independence and help recover any lost earnings, making finances one less thing to worry about.
It can also open up options for you to be seen by counsellors, physiotherapists and other experts, helping you get back to normality as soon as possible.
We know that no amount of money can turn back the clock, but it can provide you with the stability you need to move forward with your life.
How to make a surgery error claim
If you think you’ve been affected by an error in a surgical procedure you underwent, the best thing you can do is get in touch with one of our experts today. We’re proud to operate under a no win, no fee agreement, which means that there’s absolutely no financial risk in contacting us. You won’t pay a penny in advance, only an agreed percentage of your damages towards costs, if your claim is successful.
Our solicitors are dedicated to supporting you throughout and beyond your claim, and our mission is to do so with regular and clear updates, without using jargon.
To get in touch with us, simply use the contact form to summarise your situation or request a call-back, or telephone us at the number below.
Simply call us on
01482 778 463 for free advice
No win no fee
- personal insurance cover so there’s no financial risk to you in pursuing a claim
- whatever the outcome of your case, you won’t have to pay a penny (provided that you fully assist us with your claim) other than an agreed percentage of your damages