There are thousands of operations performed every year in the UK. Many of these are planned whereas others are carried out as emergencies, usually as a result of an accident or injury.
Thanks to technology there are new advances in surgical techniques, for example keyhole surgery, which aims to improve recovery rates and reduce the risk of post-operative complications.
The UK employs some of the most highly trained surgeons in the world who use advanced equipment and ground breaking techniques to improve the lives of many people.
But surgery is not risk free. Every surgical procedure carries a small risk of complications although this tends to be rare. But it is important that prospective patients are made aware of these risks before they consent to surgery.
This situation is somewhat different in the case of emergencies which have saved numerous lives.
The problem with surgery is that even a small mistake has a dramatic impact upon the patient. It may cause relatively minor damage but in other cases it can cause serious injury or even death.
If this happened to you or someone you know then you (or they) may be able to claim compensation as a result.
In which types of surgery are mistakes more likely to be made?
Theoretically, a mistake or lack of post-operative care can occur in any type of surgery. However, there are some procedures which appear to have a higher error rate than others.
- Cosmetic surgery
- Laser eye surgery
- Failed sterilisation
The effect of a surgical mistake cannot be underestimated. It causes not only physical trauma but mental and emotional distress as well. In some cases these effects remain with the patient for the rest of their life.
Types of surgical negligence
Surgery is an extremely demanding and stressful discipline which requires a high degree of skill and expertise on the part of the surgeon.
But errors do occur and these include the following:
- Leaving a swab or surgical instrument inside the patient
- Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body
- Removing the wrong internal organ or body part
Even a specialism such as keyhole surgery is not without its risks. This is an advanced surgical technique which has proved to be very successful but things can wrong.
This may be attributed to the relative newness of the procedure and the inexperience of the surgeon in performing this type of procedure.
Another surgical mishap and one that is equally as distressing is that of ‘anaesthetic awareness’. This is a situation in which a patient is given a general anaesthetic but the process fails in some way which causes them to experience pain throughout.
They are unable to move or cry out but are in the frightening position of experiencing every aspect of their operation and in extreme pain. This causes severe psychological trauma which persists for many years and affects their quality of life.
People who have experienced this find that they develop a phobia of hospitals and surgical procedures and suffer from anxiety or depression as a result of this.
Making a claim for compensation for surgical negligence
If a surgical error or a lack of due care after your operation has resulted in an injury or illness then consider making a claim for compensation.
We understand that no amount of money will undo the damage or distress caused by the negligence but it can help in a variety of ways.
If your injury has caused you to give up work, to require medication on a regular basis or specialist equipment or care then it can cover the cost of these.
This can relieve any financial stress caused by your injury. This will also be of benefit to your family who may be in the position of having to cope with the aftermath of your experience.
Choose a personal injury law firm or solicitor who has the knowledge and understanding of the many issues involved and the care and sensitivity to handle them.
They will have many years experience of handling surgical negligence claims and proven success in doing so. They should also have lawyers or solicitors with experience in a particular field of surgery, for example cosmetic surgery claims.
If you want to know more about the claims process then visit our making a claim for compensation section.
Time limit for claiming compensation for surgical negligence
Confirm the deadline for making a compensation claim with your lawyer or solicitor.
There is usually a 3 year time limit for personal injury claims but this may be different in surgical negligence claims.
Personal Injury Guide
- Guide to Personal Injury
- What is personal injury?
- Types of personal injury
- Accident or negligence?
- Decisions about personal injury
- Complaint about personal injury
- Making a claim for compensation
- Personal injury claim process
- Taking legal action
- Personal injury lawyer
- Choosing a solicitor
- Legal costs for a personal injury
- No win no fee
- Compensation payout
- Using a claims assessor
- Criminal injuries compensation authority
- Criminal compensation order
- Specialist compensation
- Financial problems from personal injury
- Support and counselling for personal injury
- What is compensation culture?
- Personal injury fact and fiction
- Personal injury FAQs
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