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Surgery Negligence Claims

Surgeon negligence claims and surgical errors compensation

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Poor surgical treatment can lead to devastating consequences.
Search for more specific surgical negligence types that have affected you.

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

Claiming for surgical negligence

Surgery is a daunting prospect, no matter what. It’s natural to feel anxious and many of us will find ourselves imagining all of the worst-case scenarios. While we can always hope that these scenarios never become reality, the unfortunate truth is that injury sustained as a result of medical negligence during surgery is one of the most common causes for making a claim. If you have suffered an injury during a surgical procedure, it’s time to get in touch. With no upfront fees or payments necessary, Your Legal Friend is here to help.

Your surgeon has a duty to treat you appropriately and you have the right to expect that he will be as capable as a reasonable and responsible surgeon who performs the operation that you need. If the outcome of your surgery is not what you expected you may have a negligent medical treatment. Complications that arise during surgery or develop at a later stage may be the result of negligence. Your doctor or specialist should have explained to you the risks of the surgery and all possible outcomes before surgery takes place. If he has not you may not had the correct surgery or you may not have given your informed consent.

If you or a member of your family have suffered an unexpected outcome a loss, following surgery you will need to seek specialist lawyer who is an expert in complex cases arising from surgical negligence. The specialist lawyers at Your Legal Friend will help you find out what went wrong, what can be done to put it right and claim compensation. We know that you have been let done by a professional and we will treat you be with sympathy and provide you with straight forward easy to understand advice.

We have years of experience working on medical negligence cases, involving everything from cervical to cardiac surgery. From a legal point of view, we know how complicated these cases can be. More importantly, we understand that they can leave the victim feeling incredibly vulnerable, even embarrassed. The psychological and emotional effects of medical negligence are often just as damaging as the physical impact which is why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We will ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts in the surgical field to guarantee the best results for you.

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Our expert team will call you...

Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of medical malpractice cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a medical negligence case.

Our Surgery expert team. We deal with medical negligence claims arising from Surgery.

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our medical negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value medical negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7 year old and £4 million for an 11 year old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006.  Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors, call us now on 0151 550 5228(calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

Your questions... answered

What are the key stages where surgical negligence may be found?

There are numerous types of surgical procedure and complications that might occur at a particular stage. To discover where a problem might have arisen during your treatment, we will look at four stages and each stage examined for potential medical negligence.

  • Investigation and diagnosis, including delay
  • Informed consent
  • Surgical complications
  • Care after surgery
Read less

What are common surgical negligence claims?

Of the 4.6 million hospital admissions to the NHS in England each year requiring surgery the risk of a mistake taking place during a procedure is estimated by the NHS to be one in 20,000.

Among the various types of surgical negligence claims that are commonly made are:

  • Failure to fully and honestly discuss the risks and benefits of surgery and the alternatives.
  • Misinterpreted scans
  • Delay in surgery resulting in avoidable surgical complications.
  • Poor surgical technique leading to injury.
  • Damage to surrounding structures, tissues and nerves.
  • Poor post-operative care.
  • Anaesthetic complications including respiratory distress, stroke, cardiac arrest, brain damage, anaesthetic awareness, tooth and throat damage.
  • Retained swabs and implements.
  • Post-operative infection.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism.
Read less

To bring a successful surgical negligence claim, What is it necessary to prove?

  • Whatever type of injury has been sustained, it must have been caused by unacceptably poor treatment
  • It must have been avoidable with poor care
  • It must have resulted in an injury

If you have suffered an injury, which could not have been prevented with proper care , it will not be possible to bring a claim for surgical negligence.

What is the time limit for making a claim for surgical negligence?

When a mistake is alleged to have been made during a surgical procedure, which is believed was the cause of physical or psychological damage, it is vital to immediately seek expert legal advice from a medical negligence specialist.

A claim for surgical negligence must be started in Court within 3 years from:

  • The date of your injury
  • The date when you first discovered your injury was the result of an action you now believe was negligent.
Read less

How much compensation can I claim for surgical negligence?

While no amount of compensation for surgical negligence will be able to reverse the pain that you have suffered and the stress caused, you may need support and care. Compensation that you are entitled to because of the lack of surgical care received will help.

Compensation can be divided into two types:

  • General Damages for the pain and suffering
  • Financial loss

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the type of injury and personal circumstances, such as the consequences of the injury on your ability to work and care for your family.

What is anesthesia awareness?

Accidental awareness during general anaesthesia (AAGA) – more commonly referred to as ‘anaesthesia awareness’- is a known and fortunately rare occurrence, in which a patient remembers awaking and being conscious of their surroundings during a surgical procedure but is unable to communicate to the medical staff.

Specific sensations, which may be recalled include, tugging, stitching, pain, paralysis and choking accompanied by feelings of panic, extreme fear, suffocation and even of dying.

What is the difference between ‘general’ and ‘local’ anesthetic

  • general anaesthetic - is intended to make a patient completely unconscious for the duration of the procedure, or
  • local anaesthetic is applied to numb a specific body area only.

Problems associated with anaesthetics 

Anaesthesia is consultant-led. This means a senior doctor is present for more than eight in ten of all occasions when anaesthetics are administered and for three in every four occasions when they are administered “out of hours”. The proper A duty of care and a high standard of skill is expected to be maintained throughout.

What are some factors affecting anesthetic dosage?

A range of factors are calculated in the level of anaesthetics administered, including:

  • Patient weight
  • Patient age
  • Relevant medical history

Current techniques enable anaesthetists to try and give patients the minimum level of anaesthetic required to reduce the risk of complications, especially if deeper anaesthetic levels may need to be used.

Difficulties or complications may arise during surgery if:

  • Anaesthetics were incorrectly or poorly administered
  • The patient was not properly monitored during anaesthesia
  • A drop in blood pressure was either not noted or failed to be prevented
  • Faulty equipment is used
  • Medical training was inadequate
  • The patient has high drug tolerance levels and this was not recognised
Read less

What are some common anesthesia risk factors?

While anaesthetic failures most often occur before surgery starts or after it finishes, patients are at higher risk of experiencing anaesthesia awareness:

  • During a caesarean section
  • If they are obese
  • Have breathing / airway restrictions at the start of anaesthesia

Muscle relaxants

Anaesthetics are administered to prevent feeling any sensation or pain, and often also includes a muscle relaxant, which may leave a patient unable to move or make any signal whatsoever.

Patients given muscle relaxants for particular types of surgery, such as cardiothoracic operations and caesarean sections  are at a higher risk of suffering complications.

Read less

What further errors are associated with anesthesia?

  • Anaesthetic Nerve / Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Anaesthetics can be mistakenly injected into the spinal cord or into nerves causing severe, painful injuries and leaving a patient with a serious disability.
  • Anaesthetic Brain Damage and Stroke
  • A failure by the anaesthetist to correctly regulate a patient’s blood pressure can cause severe brain damage or a stroke.

What are some post operation symptoms?

While research has shown that most incidence of anaesthesia awareness are brief and not a cause for concern, around five in ten episodes have led to patient distress and four in ten cause longer-term psychological harm.

A small number of patients who experience anaesthesia awareness may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and levels of associated anxiety behaviour, including severe phobias, nightmares, insomnia and in very extreme cases, attempted suicides.

Making a claim for clinical negligence in administering anesthetics

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) have recommended that before surgery a ‘check list’ for ensuring the correct administering of anaesthetics should be carried out.

However, in any clinical negligence claim it is necessary to prove:

  • Whatever type of injury has been sustained, it must have been avoidable ‘at the time and in the circumstances’ with proper care
  • Due to the negligence of a person who owed you a duty of care
  • Due to the negligence of a person who demonstrated a lack of skill
Read less

There are numerous types of surgical procedure and complications that might occur at a particular stage. To discover where a problem might have arisen during your treatment, we will look at four stages and each stage examined for potential medical negligence.

  • Investigation and diagnosis, including delay
  • Informed consent
  • Surgical complications
  • Care after surgery
Read less

Of the 4.6 million hospital admissions to the NHS in England each year requiring surgery the risk of a mistake taking place during a procedure is estimated by the NHS to be one in 20,000.

Among the various types of surgical negligence claims that are commonly made are:

  • Failure to fully and honestly discuss the risks and benefits of surgery and the alternatives.
  • Misinterpreted scans
  • Delay in surgery resulting in avoidable surgical complications.
  • Poor surgical technique leading to injury.
  • Damage to surrounding structures, tissues and nerves.
  • Poor post-operative care.
  • Anaesthetic complications including respiratory distress, stroke, cardiac arrest, brain damage, anaesthetic awareness, tooth and throat damage.
  • Retained swabs and implements.
  • Post-operative infection.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism.
Read less
  • Whatever type of injury has been sustained, it must have been caused by unacceptably poor treatment
  • It must have been avoidable with poor care
  • It must have resulted in an injury

If you have suffered an injury, which could not have been prevented with proper care , it will not be possible to bring a claim for surgical negligence.

When a mistake is alleged to have been made during a surgical procedure, which is believed was the cause of physical or psychological damage, it is vital to immediately seek expert legal advice from a medical negligence specialist.

A claim for surgical negligence must be started in Court within 3 years from:

  • The date of your injury
  • The date when you first discovered your injury was the result of an action you now believe was negligent.
Read less

While no amount of compensation for surgical negligence will be able to reverse the pain that you have suffered and the stress caused, you may need support and care. Compensation that you are entitled to because of the lack of surgical care received will help.

Compensation can be divided into two types:

  • General Damages for the pain and suffering
  • Financial loss

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the type of injury and personal circumstances, such as the consequences of the injury on your ability to work and care for your family.

Accidental awareness during general anaesthesia (AAGA) – more commonly referred to as ‘anaesthesia awareness’- is a known and fortunately rare occurrence, in which a patient remembers awaking and being conscious of their surroundings during a surgical procedure but is unable to communicate to the medical staff.

Specific sensations, which may be recalled include, tugging, stitching, pain, paralysis and choking accompanied by feelings of panic, extreme fear, suffocation and even of dying.

  • general anaesthetic - is intended to make a patient completely unconscious for the duration of the procedure, or
  • local anaesthetic is applied to numb a specific body area only.

Problems associated with anaesthetics 

Anaesthesia is consultant-led. This means a senior doctor is present for more than eight in ten of all occasions when anaesthetics are administered and for three in every four occasions when they are administered “out of hours”. The proper A duty of care and a high standard of skill is expected to be maintained throughout.

A range of factors are calculated in the level of anaesthetics administered, including:

  • Patient weight
  • Patient age
  • Relevant medical history

Current techniques enable anaesthetists to try and give patients the minimum level of anaesthetic required to reduce the risk of complications, especially if deeper anaesthetic levels may need to be used.

Difficulties or complications may arise during surgery if:

  • Anaesthetics were incorrectly or poorly administered
  • The patient was not properly monitored during anaesthesia
  • A drop in blood pressure was either not noted or failed to be prevented
  • Faulty equipment is used
  • Medical training was inadequate
  • The patient has high drug tolerance levels and this was not recognised
Read less

While anaesthetic failures most often occur before surgery starts or after it finishes, patients are at higher risk of experiencing anaesthesia awareness:

  • During a caesarean section
  • If they are obese
  • Have breathing / airway restrictions at the start of anaesthesia

Muscle relaxants

Anaesthetics are administered to prevent feeling any sensation or pain, and often also includes a muscle relaxant, which may leave a patient unable to move or make any signal whatsoever.

Patients given muscle relaxants for particular types of surgery, such as cardiothoracic operations and caesarean sections  are at a higher risk of suffering complications.

Read less
  • Anaesthetic Nerve / Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Anaesthetics can be mistakenly injected into the spinal cord or into nerves causing severe, painful injuries and leaving a patient with a serious disability.
  • Anaesthetic Brain Damage and Stroke
  • A failure by the anaesthetist to correctly regulate a patient’s blood pressure can cause severe brain damage or a stroke.

While research has shown that most incidence of anaesthesia awareness are brief and not a cause for concern, around five in ten episodes have led to patient distress and four in ten cause longer-term psychological harm.

A small number of patients who experience anaesthesia awareness may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and levels of associated anxiety behaviour, including severe phobias, nightmares, insomnia and in very extreme cases, attempted suicides.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) have recommended that before surgery a ‘check list’ for ensuring the correct administering of anaesthetics should be carried out.

However, in any clinical negligence claim it is necessary to prove:

  • Whatever type of injury has been sustained, it must have been avoidable ‘at the time and in the circumstances’ with proper care
  • Due to the negligence of a person who owed you a duty of care
  • Due to the negligence of a person who demonstrated a lack of skill
Read less

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