Punctured Organs During Surgery: Is it Medical Malpractice?
March 16, 2022
Having an internal organ or internal tissues inadvertently punctured or damaged during surgery can lead to significant medical complications, including the need for additional surgery or extensive post-operative care, or even the potential loss of the organ or tissue. But does a punctured organ during surgery always give rise to a medical malpractice claim? Whether you may be entitled to sue for a punctured organ depends on the specific facts of your case.
Signs and Symptom of Organ Damage Following Surgery
Punctured, perforated, or otherwise damaged organs pose serious medical risks to a patient, as that damage can cause a life-threatening infection, internal bleeding, or leaking of organ fluids. Following surgery, it is important to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of perforated or damaged organs. These symptoms may include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Abnormal bloating
- Excessive thirst
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and headache
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing up blood
- Blood in urine or stool
- Decreased urine output or decrease in the frequency of bowel movements
Can You File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Punctured Organ?
Not every error by a doctor will give rise to a medical malpractice claim. Instead, the law only holds a doctor liable for medical malpractice when their treatment of a patient deviates from the accepted standard of care. The standard of care is itself generally defined as the treatment actions and decisions that other reasonable medical providers of similar training and experience would make in identical circumstances. Therefore, a surgeon may not be held liable for an error during surgery if other surgeons would have taken the same actions when operating on that patient.
However, surgeons are expected to use extreme care when operating on a patient so as to avoid inadvertently damaging any tissues that are not to be operated on. In addition, surgeons are also expected to take note if any organs or tissues are damaged during a surgical procedure and to immediately act to repair the damage. A medical malpractice claim may arise when a surgeon fails to notice damaged or perforated organs or tissues and closes up the patient without repairing the damage. This can lead to the patient suffering post-operative complications like infection, internal bleeding, sepsis, or organ failure, necessitating additional surgeries and medical treatment.
What Can You Recover in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you can prove that your surgeon committed negligence in perforating or damaging your organs or tissues during surgery (and failing to repair the damage before ending the surgery), you may be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses that you incur. A medical malpractice may provide you with financial recovery for:
- Costs of additional medical treatment and rehabilitation that may be needed, such as additional surgeries and post-operative care, medications, or physical therapy
- Long-term care expenses if you suffer from permanent disabilities or other chronic health conditions due to your injury
- Loss of wages or income from additional time you need to take off work to recover from your injury
- Loss of future earning ability when permanent disabilities from your injury impact your ability to return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life, including loss of an organ or organ function, or reduced life expectancy
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Rochelle Park surgical error attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, and Newark. Call us today at (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.