Not every gynecologic complication is the result of an error committed by a medical provider. Pain, infection and increased bleeding can be expected to accompany a gynecologic surgical procedure without fault of the medical provider(s). Gynecological errors encompass a breach of the standard of care by a gynecologist or nurse practitioner providing care to a woman. Injuries directly attributable to errors committed by a gynecologist or nurse practitioner are usually preventable and the direct result of medical malpractice (negligence). Gynecologic errors can influence the immediate as well as the long term future of a patient.
New surgical procedures and technological advances require a surgeon to be fully trained before undertaking to perform a surgical procedure. Each surgical procedure and the related surgical instruments is associated with a particular set of complications and errors in its application. Errors committed while providing gynecologic care to a woman can occur prior to a surgical procedure, during a surgical procedure or during the postoperative care following a surgical procedure.
The evaluation of a patient prior to the recommendation to undergo a surgical procedure is at times as important as the surgical procedure itself. Identification of relative and absolute contraindications to a particular surgical procedure is an essential part of the preoperative work-up. The assessment of the risk/benefit ratio of a given surgical procedure for a particular patient must always precede the recommendation to undergo a gynecologic surgical procedure. Gynecologic errors that precede a surgical procedure (preoperative) include:
Delayed diagnosis of cancer in a woman with specific complaints (breast complaints, abnormal uterine bleeding, abdominal pain)
Misinterpretation of test results
Deficient preoperative evaluation of preexisting conditions (lack of preoperative consultation)
Failure to obtain adequate informed consent
During a surgical procedure, the surgeon is responsible for his/her own actions as well as the actions of a surgical assistant. In Massachusetts, physicians in training (residents and interns) are held to the same standard of care of a fully trained gynecologist. A gynecologic surgeon should only undertake to perform a surgical procedure they have been fully trained to carry out without subjecting a patient to undue risk of complications. Gynecologic errors during a surgical procedure (intraoperative) include:
Lack of adequate experience with the surgical procedure
Inadequate supervision of the surgical team
The responsibility of a gynecologic surgeon does not end at the conclusion of the surgical procedure. It is equally important for a surgeon to continuously assess the postoperative recovery of a patient operated on. Early identification of abnormal healing or postoperative complications is part and parcel of the surgical operation. Gynecologic errors following a surgical procedure (postoperative) include:
Failure to recognize and/or treat a postoperative infection
Failure to recognize and/or treat postoperative bleeding
Complications associated with a gynecologic surgical procedure may appear suddenly or may not appear for several hours, days or weeks following an operation. Prevention, detection and treatment of a surgical complication is the surgeon’s responsibility.
If you believe that you or your loved one have been injured as a result of a gynecologic error that was diagnosable, avoidable and/or preventable, you may have a valid cause of action. The injury may be the result of a medical provider's mistake in handling your gynecologic condition and the result of medical negligence. Dr. Borten has over 35 years of experience as a gynecologist to fully evaluate the merits of your potential case. Allow the medical malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
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