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Surgical Positioning Injuries

Ocala Lawyers for Medical Malpractice

Surgeons need to position the bodies of patients to have an appropriate range within which to operate during a procedure. However, when a patient is not properly positioned or left unprotected in surgery, the result may be serious injuries, including pain, muscle damage, and nerve damage. If you have undergone a surgery and suspect that your injuries are the result of positioning errors, the experienced Ocala medical malpractice attorneys of the Dean Law Firm are ready to evaluate your claim.

Surgical Positioning Injuries

During surgeries, the body must be put in a particular position so that the surgeon can have access to whatever area of the body she's operating on. The surgical team is responsible for positioning the body so that each team member has a clear view of the surgical site, and so that the surgeon and anesthesiologist are also able to do their jobs appropriately. Usually the nurses and other staff members position a patient for surgery. Properly positioning a patient can greatly diminish the possibility of respiratory problems, circulatory problems, and damage to muscles and nerves. Proper positioning can also reduce bleeding during and after the surgery's completion. Both the anesthesiologist and surgeon have oversight over the positioning because they know whether a particular position might result in damaged or stretched nerves or muscles. The surgeon and anesthesiologist may make different decisions after consideration of factors such as the age and weight of the patient, any medical conditions that may influence the surgical outcome, the patient's preexisting conditions such as diabetes, the type of anesthesia needed, and how long the surgery is expected to take.

Positions frequently used in surgery include prone positioning, supine positioning, lateral positioning, and knees to chest positioning, as well as others. Surgical positioning errors can result in both temporary and permanent injuries. Errors made by the surgical team when positioning the body may be the result of medical malpractice. The surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse, and staff members are supposed to look at the risks of positioning and abide by professional standards of care.

Proving Medical Malpractice

If a health care provider fails to abide by a professional standard of care, an injured patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. A knowledgeable injury lawyer can assess whether the facts of your case will meet the required elements of that claim. To establish you right to recover damages, you'll need to show: (1) a doctor-patient relationship, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. While it is usually straightforward to establish a doctor-patient relationship giving rise to a professional duty, you will need to retain an expert to provide an opinion about what the professional duty of care was and whether it was breached, and further, whether the breach actually and legally caused injuries.

An expert determines what the professional standard of care was by looking at how a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same specialty or field would have behaved under the same circumstances. Factors such as the patient's age, sex, weight, and preexisting conditions — all of which are considered by health care providers when positioning a patient — might alter what the professional standard of care was under the circumstances.

Damages for Surgical Malpractice

Compensatory damages can include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are tangible and they may be documented. They can include wage loss, medical bills, medical equipment, therapy, rehabilitation, and replacement services. Noneconomic losses are subjective and intangible. They may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment. In some cases, it is necessary to retain an expert to testify as to what the damages are, particularly where permanent injuries are involved.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Ocala

The aggressive Ocala lawyers of the Dean Law Firm may be able to help you recover damages if you suffered surgical positioning injuries due to medical malpractice. Our firm represents patients injured by negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, and hospitals all through Florida, including those in The Villages, Crystal River, and Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or through our online form.