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Reducing complications in surgery patients

Of all the reasons people file orthopedic surgery medical malpractice claims, a study conducted by The Doctors Company found that the main reason is surgical mistakes. This accounted for 46 percent of claims. Another 13 percent were related to diagnoses while 16 percent concerned improper patient management. There are steps hospitals and physicians in Ohio and other states can take to provide better care to patients and likely reduce the possibility of complications and lawsuits.

Physicians may need to make sure that patients are aware of the symptoms of complications that require urgent medical attention during the immediate period after surgery. Patients sometimes return home after a procedure and have to decide for themselves whether something is normal or a sign of a complication, and medical staff should treat any calls from a patient after an operation seriously and sensitively.

While a patient is still at the hospital, medical staff members can help detect complications that arise if they know what to look for. This means that nurses, the surgeon's team, therapists and other caregivers should know symptoms of complications so that they can alert the surgeon when things like persistent and increasing pain occurs in a patient that does not go away with medicine.

There is no reason for egregious accidents like wrong-site surgery to occur as protocols exist to stop preventable errors. Appointing someone to monitor the process and ensure all the necessary steps are taken could help avoid preventable complications.

Preventable errors are called preventable for a reason as they generally only occur when someone's action or inaction causes a mistake. In many cases they can be traced to negligent operating room staff members. People who have been harmed as a result of a surgical error may want to discuss their legal options with a medical malpractice attorney.

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