Can I Sue For Medical Malpractice in Post-Operative Care in Maryland?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Medical Malpractice Published on August 18, 2023 and updated on August 25, 2023.

female patient in hospital room talking to doctorSurgery carries many risks, some of which are still present during post-operative care. For example, without proper care, patients could develop life-threatening infections or excessive bleeding.

Sometimes these complications develop because of a failure to monitor patients or do an appropriate intervention when patients display certain symptoms. In these situations, the victim may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit over negligent post-operative care.

If you think your post-surgical injuries are a result of malpractice, call The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl. Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys have assisted many victims and we know how to determine when medical professionals failed to uphold the standard of care.

Call to schedule your free legal consultation. Phone: 410-244-7005.

What Is Post-Operative Care?

After your surgery, the post-operative phase of your treatment begins. This phase could last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, weeks or months. The post-operative care phase concludes when your doctor no longer needs to do follow-up appointments related to your surgery.

This phase involves doctors monitoring your vital signs and physical condition to determine whether you are healing properly. Doctors need to make sure you are not suffering complications from surgery, such as excessive bleeding or an infection. Doctors not only need to monitor you, but they must also intervene when your body is in distress or other medical problems arise.

For example, if you suffer a sudden drop in blood pressure or your vital signs crash in some other way, doctors need to take steps to prevent your condition from getting worse.

Defining Post-Operative Medical Malpractice

Post-operative medical malpractice refers to a failure to uphold the medical standard of care during your recovery from surgery. If doctors make mistakes that lead to injuries, and another doctor in a similar situation would have provided better care, you may have been a victim of medical malpractice. However, this is about more than making mistakes.

Doctors are supposed to know the risks of the surgery they just performed. They need to know the symptoms that may indicate a patient is experiencing complications or some type of adverse reaction.

These are some potential examples of post-operative medical malpractice.

  • Failing to keep track of your vital signs (respiration, pulse, heart rate, etc.)
  • Failing to keep the environment sterile to avoid infection
  • Failing to do an examination to look for signs of an infection, such as inflammation, excessive drainage from the surgical site, discolored skin, etc.
  • Failing to promptly respond to signs of cardiac arrest or stroke
  • Failing to discover blood clots or internal bleeding
  • Failing to discover you are having an allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Failing to change bandages
  • Failing to prescribe medication to help you recover

Each patient’s post-surgical experience is different. To be sure about whether you have a valid case, we recommend discussing your situation with an experienced lawyer.

Injuries That Could Result From Negligent Post-Operative Care

Medical malpractice during post-operative care could lead to life-threatening medical issues. For example, if doctors do not diagnose or treat an infection quickly enough, the patient could develop sepsis. This is a serious condition that occurs when chemicals are released into the bloodstream to fight infection. These chemicals can damage organ systems and put your life at risk.

Blood clots are also a common risk after surgery. This is because the victim often needs to sit still for an extended period. Being inactive in this way inhibits blood flow, which could result in clotting. This medical condition could be fatal if the clot moves to your heart, lungs or brain.

An allergic reaction to a drug could cause a patient to suffer a loss of oxygen, which could lead to permanent brain damage.

Shock is another risk after surgery. This involves a significant loss in blood pressure that can cause organ failure or death. Doctors need to carefully monitor patients for signs of shock and quickly provide treatment to prevent catastrophic consequences.

Who Could Be at Fault For Poor Post-Operative Care?

The healthcare professionals involved in your post-operative care could all potentially be liable for medical malpractice. The hospital that employs these individuals could also be vicariously liable.

There are various reasons why doctors and other medical professionals may be liable. For example, they may have failed to follow hospital procedures, such as procedures on cleanliness. Doctors may have failed to check on patients in the recovery room. Sometimes doctors fail to notice signs of distress when they should.

However, proving that doctors failed to uphold the standard of care can be a challenge. An in-depth investigation will be required to determine what happened and how malpractice may have contributed to your injuries. That is why victims need to work with a law firm that has a history of securing results for victims.

Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice? Call For Legal Assistance

Many people who were victims of medical malpractice are unsure of their legal options. They may think the doctor made mistakes, but that does not count as medical malpractice.

Doctors are human and they do make mistakes, but they also have an obligation to uphold accepted medical standards of care. When they fail, they may be liable for damages.

Our experienced lawyers are here to evaluate your claim at no upfront costs to you. There are also no fees while working on your case.

Contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl today. Call 410-244-7005.