Malpractice Cases Arising from Overlapping Surgeries in Maryland

The idea of surgery naturally makes people nervous. The surgeon performing the surgery is typically the one who addresses the patient’s fears and gives the patient an understanding of what he or she is to expect. While patients have a lot of fears about surgery, they may not even realize that the surgeon may be booked for multiple surgeries at the same time. If you have been injured during surgery, it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can analyze the facts of your case and determine the cause of your harm.

Overlapping surgeries, also sometimes referred to as concurrent surgeries, occur when an attending surgeon is responsible for multiple surgeries in multiple operating rooms at the same time for at least part of the procedure. This is more common than you may think. In fact, in some places, this is a standard procedure intended to maximize a surgeon’s efficiency. For example, a surgeon may start one procedure, and before it is complete, typically with just stitches remaining to be performed by residents or trained physicians’ assistants, will start another procedure.

According to an investigative report by the Boston Globe, more than 44 medical issues arose due to overlapping surgeries between 2005 and 2015. In one case, a patient was left paralyzed after a spinal surgery. The surgeon performing the procedure was claimed to have been performing another procedure at around the same time. Due to problems such as this one, the American College of Surgeons has released new guidelines on this issue, one of them being that overlapping surgeries should not be taking place at all.

Medical malpractice laws are designed to protect patients’ rights to compensation if they are injured as a result of negligence by a medical professional. Under Maryland law, establishing negligence against a surgeon requires proving the following elements:

  • The existence of a duty between the surgeon and the patient;
  • The relevant standard of care (i.e., the surgeon’s obligation to act in the same way that another surgeon in the same specialty would act under the same circumstances);
  • The surgeon’s deviation from the standard of care;
  • The causal connection between the surgeon’s deviation and the patient’s injury; and
  • Actual harm or injury to the patient.

Medical malpractice cases in Maryland are subject to strict time frames, known as statutes of limitations. A failure to file within the appropriate statute of limitations could mean losing your legal right to compensation altogether. As a result, it is important to work with an attorney who will be vigilant about timelines in your case.

When a surgery that is supposed to benefit you ends up hurting you, it is important to look into the matter. While every surgery carries inherent risks, in some cases, a patient’s harm may be due to medical malpractice. At the Arfaa Law Group, our hardworking Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys will make every effort to get you the compensation you deserve for your harm. We will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case to determine whether or not your safety was compromised at any point. To get a free evaluation of your case, you can call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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