Surgery is supposed to make you healthier. After all, those who conduct these procedures receive years of extensive education and training so that they can provide you with competent care.
Yet, all too often mistakes are made that leave innocent patients like you with serious harm or a worsened medical condition. And when that happens, your life can be forever changed. You could be left with physical limitations, ongoing pain, a poor prognosis, emotional turmoil, a lack of income, and crushing debt.
Since you’ve found your way to this blog post, you might be unsure whether what you’re experiencing is a sign of surgical error. A lot of medical malpractice victims mistakenly think that their symptoms are normal complications that just have to be dealt with until they correct themselves over time. But you shouldn’t wait too long to determine if you’ve been subjected to a surgical error, as delays can lead to a worsened condition, more extensive pain, and otherwise avoidable costs.
Signs that you’ve been harmed by a surgical error
To assess whether you’ve been harmed by a surgical error, you need to keep an eye on your symptoms. This means looking out for any of the following:
- Infection: If your surgery is conducted appropriately and you receive the right medication post-surgery, then your risk of infection should be controlled. Sometimes, though, doctors and nurses fail to sterilize surgical instruments, or they even leave surgical tools inside of patients, which can result in serious infections that prove deadly if not quickly treated. So, if you think you have a lingering infection, which may present as a fever that lasts for several days, be sure to promptly seek out medical care.
- Lingering pain: Experiencing some pain might be expected following a surgical procedure. But if the pain lasts longer than expected or worsens, or if medication doesn’t help dull the pain, then you need medical care to address what could be a serious complication.
- Vomiting and diarrhea: Throwing up and experiencing diarrhea can quickly leave you dehydrated, which can cause a host of problems, even including organ failure. If you’re experiencing either of these symptoms for several days, then you need to follow up with a medical professional.
- Bleeding or discharge from the surgical site: Depending on the type of surgery that you undergo, some minimal bleeding or discharge might be expected. If you see more blood or discharge than anticipated, though, then your body might be telling you that something’s wrong. When that happens, get yourself to a doctor as soon as possible.
- Excessive swelling: Swelling is part of the healing process. But when swelling worsens and doesn’t improve, it can be a sign that your body is fighting or trying to repair something significant. You’ll want to get that checked out before it develops into something more severe.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then you should compare them to the list of possible side effects that your doctor provided to you. If they don’t match up, or if your symptoms are more severe than your doctor cautioned, then you might’ve been harmed by a surgical error.
Hold negligent medical professionals accountable for your surgical error
A surgical error can devastate life as you know it. Fortunately, you might be able to find accountability and some financial relief by moving forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit. To win one of these cases, you need strong evidence that speaks to the relevant elements of the law. That might sound complicated to do, but you can better position yourself for success by learning more about how to gather key evidence, how the law applies to your case, and how to counter the defense’s arguments.