When patients undergo a surgical procedure, they know they will likely lose some blood. After all, bleeding is quite normal when a patient has to be cut open. However, surgeons are there to minimize the bleeding and monitor the blood loss. Unfortunately, sometimes medical negligence occurs and too much blood is lost, which can result in adverse health effects for patients.
While some heavy bleeding during or after surgery can be stopped and treated, sometimes bleeding isn’t obvious immediately following a surgery, which is why patients should be monitored in a recovery room following any surgical procedure. For example, a surgeon may have accidentally nicked an organ and didn’t notice it before he closed the patient up, resulting in internal bleeding. Or a doctor or nurse may have failed to monitor the patient’s medication to ensure the patient wasn’t taking something that would prevent blood clotting.
When a nurse fails to monitor a patient closely for blood loss or a doctor fails to notice when postoperative hemorrhaging occurs, a patient can suffer life-threatening complications.
Life-Threatening Postoperative Hemorrhaging
When bleeding is heavy following surgery, a patient can suffer the following disabling injuries:
- Organ failure. When uncontrolled bleeding occurs, the body’s cells will not receive the proper oxygen needed to work properly. Consequently, the body’s organs may shut down.
- Infection. When postoperative bleeding occurs, it is possible for bacteria to enter the wound and spread. If the bacteria reaches the blood, it can result in septic shock.
- Brain damage. If the bleeding occurs in the brain, it can increase pressure within the skull, alter brain function, and produce stroke-like symptoms.
These adverse surgical outcomes occur when surgeons don’t take the proper steps, fail to follow the proper procedures, or make a critical surgical error. Any of these errors is considered medical negligence, which are grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
If you suffered a disabling injury following a surgical experience due to bleeding, or if your loved one died as a result of hemorrhaging after surgery, you may have a legal claim. Whether it was a medically necessary surgery or an elective procedure, if medical malpractice occurred, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. To find out more about your rights, or to learn more about medical malpractice, request a free copy of our book, What You Need to Know Before Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Case.