Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Surgical Mistakes in Mercer Island

Posted Friday, January 27, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Most surgeons are very busy. They generally perform up to eight procedures a day. They have little time to review files and patient histories before procedures, especially for surgeons that treat trauma patients in busy emergency rooms. Surgeons also often take shortcuts during and after the procedure to treat as many patients as possible and make as much money as possible.

Doctors have a fiduciary duty. They must set aside work-life balance, financial considerations, and all other priorities and only do what is best for their patients. The high standard of care makes it easier for a Mercer Island personal injury attorney to establish negligence, or a lack of care. If negligence causes injury, the victim is usually entitled to substantial compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages in some cases.

*Before*A few patients have long-term relationships with their surgeons. But these relationships are few and far between. Most people frequently relocate, which means they usually change doctors often. Additionally, most people choose a doctor off an insurance company list, and these lists typically change every year. Finally, many surgeons are specialists whom a general practice doctor connected with a particular patient.

In other words, many surgeons know little or nothing about the patients on whom they are operating. As mentioned, surgeons have a duty of care to learn not only the information in the file, but also some things about the patient from a personal standpoint, such as the patient’s needs and goals in a particular situation.

If students do not do their homework, they generally do badly on their tests. Likewise, when surgeons don’t take the time required to do things right during pre-surgery, the results often suffer.

*During*Unwillingness to take time to do things right also affects the surgery itself. A brief, pre-procedure huddle gets the entire surgical team on the same page and enables everyone to relax for a few moments and focus on the task ahead. But many doctors are simply too busy.

Likewise, a brief, post-procedure instrument check would eliminate RSI, or retained surgical instruments. Frequently, patients do not discover these mistakes for several months or even longer.

On a related note, instrument sterilization could cause injury as well. The team usually superheats instruments to sterilize them. Too hot, and they cause burns. Not hot enough, and bacteria survive on the instrument and enter the patient’s vulnerable body.

*After*Once patients enter recovery rooms, many surgical teams let down their guard ever so slightly. That slight letdown often causes serious injury.

Hospitals are basically breeding grounds for bacteria. Infections, like sepsis, set in quickly and get much worse quickly. A slightly delayed reaction could literally be fatal.

Once again, on a related note, a defective product could cause a hospital infection. To keep surgical teams on their toes, most hospitals are cold. So, a warm blanket feels good to most patients. These blankets often use air pumps that suck dirty air from near the floor and superheat it. Once again, bacteria go directly to an open wound or another vulnerable part of a patient’s body.

*Work With a Diligent King County Attorney*Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Mercer Island, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. We have several offices in Washington State.