Approximately 400,000 surgeries are performed at Veterans Administration facilities each year, and the majority of those are performed to standards expected of surgeons and other medical professionals involved in these procedures. However, recent investigations have exposed serious errors by those entrusted with veteran’s health care and medical needs. As the nation’s largest employer of health care workers and the source of medical care for many veterans, the chances for a higher number of surgical mistakes are greater—and unacceptable. And as a law firm dedicated to the rights and health of military service members, we hold VA medical professionals accountable for surgical mistakes and get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
Surgical errors can lead to tragic results
A surgical error is one in which a surgeon, anesthesiologist or other medical professional involved in a procedure makes a preventable mistake that causes harm. An especially egregious example of surgical errors committed by a Veterans Administration surgeon wasn’t just one, but 88 cases of errors on the part of a single surgeon. In one case, this physician badly “botched” a surgical procedure, and then botched it again a second time. Eventually, the veteran had to have her leg amputated below the knee.
All surgeons are expected to meet a medical standard of care, which is defined as the level of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would provide under similar circumstances. This doesn’t mean that a surgeon may have encountered complications that could not have been “reasonably” foreseen and which caused harm. A surgical error is one in which the mistake that was made that falls outside the medical standard of care was the result of negligence.
Under the Federal Torts Claim Act (FTCA), you can file a malpractice claim against a medical professional employed by the Veterans Administration for surgical errors, provided that the surgeon, surgical nurse, anesthetist or anyone else who may have contributed to the error was acting within the scope of their professional duty, acted in a negligent, careless or wrongful manner, and that the injuries were an actual or “proximate cause” (producing foreseeable and particular consequences) of the surgical error.
Common surgical errors include:
Failing to diagnose a medical condition during a surgical procedure
Leaving surgical instruments, sponges, swabs or gauze in the body after surgery
Damaging healthy organs during surgery
Performing surgery on the wrong site (such as the left knee instead of the right knee)
Performing surgery on the wrong patient
Failure to address complications during surgery
Get maximum compensation for harm caused by a VA surgical error
These and other surgical errors should never have happened: that’s why they’re often referred to as “never events.” And if you’ve been injured as a result of a surgical error by a Veteran’s Administration physician or medical professional, you should never have to suffer through the consequences. There is a timeframe in which you can bring a lawsuit, meaning that it’s in your best interest to seek immediate, experienced legal representation. To schedule a free consultation with our top veteran’s attorney at the Bertling Law Group, please contact us online or call us at 844-295-7558.