March 4, 2019
Going under the knife is something no one looks forward to. With the miracle of modern medicine, surgeons can save lives and extend them beyond what we could otherwise hope, but the fear of complications can make even the healthiest patient feel uneasy about an upcoming procedure.
It’s only natural, then, that a patient with more complicated medical issues should be anxious about an operation and potential pitfalls following it. Say you have a bleeding disorder and have complications post-op because of it.
What are your options going forward? Would having these complications fall under the category of medical malpractice?
First, it’s important to lay down some ground rules for what constitutes “malpractice.”
The key here is finding negligence on your caregiver’s part. Every doctor adheres to a well-defined standard of care when they agree to take on any patient.
Indiana’s standard generally goes like this: Health care providers must exercise that degree of care, skill, and proficiency exercised by reasonably careful, skillful, and prudent practitioners in the same class acting under the same or similar circumstances.
This standard goes for every facet of your medical care. Pre-op preparations, surgical procedures, and post-op recovery all fall under this umbrella.
Simply put, medical malpractice must be some form of breach of that standard of care, and a physician who neglects to account for a known blood disorder falls right into that category.
And in the case of blood disorders in post-op recovery, if a doctor knows of your blood disorder (such as hemophilia or von Willebrand’s) and doesn’t take the necessary steps (like introducing the clotting factors you lack) to prevent complications (like extended bleeding and prolonged healing), then you may have a case of medical malpractice on your hands.
Doing Your Part
All recovery processes are different following surgery, and you can protect yourself and your doctors from bumps in the road by communicating your blood disorder issues with them before the procedure even begins.
Even with the most commonplace blood disorders, emergency room physicians and general surgeons may not be immediately knowledgeable about your condition and how to address it. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to bridge any knowledge gaps a health professional may have about your specific condition.
If you want to cover your bases in the case of a future emergency room visit, schedule a “pre-emergency” appointment with the ER’s staff to educate them on how to proceed with your specific issue. A letter from your primary care physician describing in detail the legitimacy of your disorder, how it affects you, and how best to treat it helps as well.
Basically, once you’ve done everything you can possibly do to make sure those giving you healthcare know the ins and outs of your condition, it’s up to them to do their jobs and give you the best care possible.
Help from an Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyer
You shouldn’t have to worry about post-op complications being more burdensome than the surgery itself, and even if you have a blood disorder, you shouldn’t have to suffer in that regard because of someone else’s mistake. If you or someone you know has undergone surgery and had complications afterward because of medical malpractice, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our Indiana medical malpractice lawyers are here to help.