Cardiothoracic surgery refers to surgery on the heart and chest. Surgery affecting major organs like the heart is typically considered “high risk,” because the risk of complications and surgical errors is much higher than in other areas of surgery or medical care. However, the fact that the risks are high does not excuse negligent healthcare or surgical mistakes during heart surgery.
If you or a loved one underwent cardiothoracic surgery and suffered injuries from your doctor’s surgical errors, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for the injuries you faced. If a loved one was killed by cardiothoracic surgical errors, the compensation could be even higher. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today to discuss filing a medical malpractice claim for your injuries. Our Miami cardiothoracic surgical error lawyers may be able to help. To schedule your free consultation, call (305) 694-2676 today.
Examples of Surgical Errors During Cardiac Surgery
Surgical procedures on the heart or chest often carry a substantial risk of injuring the patient’s heart, veins, and arteries. Cardiothoracic surgeons study the heart and chest thoroughly to understand the potential problems and how to fix them. They should also understand risk factors for injury during surgery and train to properly avoid these issues and complete the procedure without additional harm.
Some surgical mistakes are within the bounds of adequate healthcare. Medical science and human doctors are not perfect, and patients may suffer complications that the doctor could not avoid. However, the doctor may commit mistakes that they should have avoided, in which case their care would be considered negligent.
Avoidable injuries can include a wide range of surgical mistakes. One of these common surgical errors involves cutting too deep or nicking a blood vessel during the surgery. This could cause excessive bleeding and, if the patient already has a heart condition, severe complications or even death. Other mistakes involve damage to the heart and other tissue brought about by inattention or lack of skill. These kinds of errors are most common during open-heart surgery, valve surgery, bypasses, and other intensive surgical procedures.
While it is not commonly considered a “surgical” error, other mistakes and errors may occur during a cardiac catheterization. During these procedures, a cardiac catheter is pushed through the patient’s blood vessels to check for blockages and other issues with the patient’s heart and blood vessels, as well as to implant stents or try to clear arterial blockages. If plaque or another substance is dislodged during the procedure and makes its way to the heart, the patient could suffer a heart attack. Other injuries often occur if the doctor punctures or bisects a blood vessel, which could potentially require additional open-heart surgery to repair.
Proving a Cardiothoracic Malpractice Lawsuit
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove that the injuries you faced were the result of mistakes and errors and that those errors are outside the normal standard of care. As mentioned, cardiothoracic and open-heart surgery are often high risk, which means that complications and mistakes might happen during those procedures. If the mistakes the surgeon made were within the bounds of normal, expected complications, the doctor is not normally negligent. However, if the mistakes occurred because the doctor failed to use the proper care or skill, you should be able to prove your case and win a negligence lawsuit.
What is considered adequate in healthcare is defined not by some list of objective standards, but rather by what a reasonable physician with similar training and experience would have done in the same situation. In some cases, no matter how good the doctor is, the complication will still occur, and these situations may not justify a lawsuit. However, if they did not use the proper care or skill the situation required, you can sue them for the injuries they caused.
You and your attorney can typically prove your case by presenting the testimony of a medical expert. Another cardiothoracic surgeon can often analyze the facts and evidence and give expert testimony about how the care was negligent. If the jury believes your expert was correct, they should rule in your favor and order the doctor to compensate you for your injuries.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice Claims from Surgical Negligence
If you suffered from mistakes during an open-heart procedure, you may have needed additional surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, and other medical care to reverse the effects of the mistakes and get you back to health. Especially if the injuries you suffered were during an investigatory procedure like a cardiac catheterization, you may be entitled to compensation for the additional cost of the care you received.
In addition, you could be entitled to the value of any wages you lost because of your injuries. This can include lost wages while you were laid up in the hospital as well as the cost of ongoing wages you will miss if you cannot return to work.
Lastly, you can receive damages for the pain and suffering you faced from the injury and additional medical care. The cost of pain and suffering is difficult to calculate, so work with a lawyer to get the coverage you need.
If you lost a loved one to negligent heart surgery, the additional damages you face could be substantial. Talk to a loved one about what your wrongful death lawsuit might be worth.
Miami Cardiothoracic Surgery Mistake Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was subjected to negligent healthcare during a cardiac or cardiothoracic procedure, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, contact our Miami cardiothoracic surgery mistake lawyer at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.