There are many different types of medical malpractice. As a result, there are a variety of complications that patients might suffer, ranging from infections to organ failure. One potentially life-threatening complication is when the patient experiences uncontrolled bleeding.
What common types of medical procedures can lead to a patient hemorrhaging?
Although nonsurgical procedures can lead to bleeding (such as coronary angioplasty performed on an emergency basis), surgery is most often what causes it. This can range from medically-necessary procedures to elective cosmetic surgeries.
Not every circumstance of uncontrolled bleeding is necessarily the fault of a healthcare provider. It would have to be proven that he/she had acted in a negligent manner. Such negligence could occur before, during or after surgery.
What are the circumstances in which medical negligence could lead to hemorrhaging:
- during; and
- after surgery.
Before a patient goes under, the surgeon is responsible for making sure he/she knows all of the medications the patient is taking.
Knowledge of patient medication should include:
- over-the-counter (OTC) medicines;
- vitamins; and
- herbal supplements.
It’s also important to know the dosage for each medication the patient is taking, as some may be associated with an increased risk of bleeding.
For instance, common OTCs such as aspirin or ibuprofen could increase the risk of bleeding. It would be necessary to discuss the benefits and risks of stopping certain medications or possibly lowering the dose at some point before surgery takes place.
A medical history is important, especially if the patient had previous episodes of uncontrolled bleeding. So when there is a failure to get a complete history or to take the patient’s medical history into account, these could be examples of medical negligence.
Failing to administer appropriate tests before surgery is another example of pre-surgery negligence that may increase risk of hemorrhaging during or after the procedure.
Negligence that leads to bleeding might occur during the surgical procedure as well. This might be the case if the surgeon accidentally nicks a blood vessel or organ. Or it could be that when bleeding occurs, a blood transfusion isn’t administered correctly or quickly enough. In other cases, the patient may need an additional procedure to control bleeding but the surgeon fails to perform it.
Not properly monitoring a patient after surgery is another potential cause of hemorrhaging. An example would be failing to recognize signs of bleeding. It could even be the result of sending a patient home too early instead of allowing him to recover in the hospital under close observation and care. In other cases, the doctor may not prescribe proper medication after the procedure to minimize bleeding risks and help the patient’s blood volume quickly replenish itself.
Is surgery the only situation in which medical negligence could lead to hemorrhaging?
Although surgical procedures may present more opportunity for malpractice to lead to hemorrhaging, there are other circumstances under which it could occur as well. Besides surgical mistakes, it could be the result of a failure to diagnose, for example.
One example is when a brain bleed isn’t recognized, despite risk factors (such as high blood pressure or head trauma). Or not detecting signs of a brain bleed, which are oftentimes similar to those of a stroke. This could include difficulty speaking, walking and numbness/weakness on one side. A patient who suffers an aneurysm could experience a severe headache.
Hemorrhaging is a serious medical complication. It can result in a longer hospitalization and in some cases, death. If it’s believed medical negligence is to blame, contact an attorney today. Gacovino, Lake & Associates helps patient explore liability for medical mistakes and pursue fair compensation for their damages.