Illinois Retained Surgical Instrument Attorney
It’s hard to believe that surgical instrument retention errors happen in sophisticated hospitals. But these mistakes are almost as common as anesthesia errors and other surgical errors. Like many other medical errors, retained instrument mistakes are very easy to prevent. A simple pre-and post-procedure instrument could all but eliminate such errors. But many doctors and surgical teams are in such a hurry that they cannot take this simple precaution, even if it could mean preventing a catastrophic injury.
In contrast, the diligent Illinois retained surgical instrument attorneys at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman firmly believe that, at least in most cases, slow and steady wins the race. So, we build a solid foundation of evidence brick by brick. This approach usually makes the strongest possible walls. At the same time, we do not sit on our heels and react to events. Instead, we proactively stand up for your legal and financial rights, both in court and around a negotiating table.
What Causes Surgical Instrument Mistakes?
As mentioned, time pressure usually causes these errors. Especially at places like day surgery centers, surgical teams may handle several cases a day. Therefore, as one procedure ends, their minds are often already on the next patient.
Additionally, lack of preparation often contributes to surgical instrument retention injuries. If the surgical team doesn’t have all necessary instruments laid out at the start, it’s easier to lose track of which ones the doctor has used. These mistakes are especially common in very busy operating rooms in very large hospitals.
On a related note, instrument sterilization errors happen at many hospitals and surgical centers. Usually, the team super-heats instruments to sterilize them. An overheated instrument could obviously cause a serious injury, especially to an internal organ that has no protective skin layer. An under-heated instrument could cause a serious bacterial or other infection.
If a Chicago retained surgical instrument attorney proves that negligence, or a lack of care, caused the injury, the damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are often also available in medical malpractice claims. These damages punish tortfeasors (negligent actors) who intentionally disregard a known risk.
Evidence in Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical records, expert witness statements, and lay witness statements usually make up most of the evidence in a medical negligence matter.
Usually, medical records include clinical information, like diagnosis, treatment, and cost data. Additionally, these records often include treatment notes and other annotations which shed additional light on negligence matters.
Expert witnesses usually testify regarding the standard of care, which is an offshoot of the duty of care in these matters. Furthermore, experts highlight the ways the doctor was negligent, or failed to live up to this standard. Illinois, like all other states, has very specific rules about what professionals do and don’t qualify as expert witnesses.
Co-workers, family members, friends, and other lay witnesses cannot testify about the medical aspects of a claim. But they usually can testify about the practical effects of the medical mistake. Such testimony usually resonates very well with most jurors.
Count on an Experienced Chicago Cook County Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced retained surgical instrument attorney in Chicago, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman by going online or calling 410-567-0800. You have a limited amount of time to act.