We’ve talked about medical errors that can occur during surgery, but what happens when health care providers fail to carefully monitor their patients after surgery? When patients are not watched closely after they have undergone surgery, there can be serious consequences. Doctors and nurses have a duty to monitor, observe, and listen to a post-operative patient to recognize signs of complications. Common post-surgical problems include:
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Blood clots occur when the blood thickens and sticks together. Deep vein thrombosis, which is when blood clots develop deep in the blood vessels, is common after surgery. This is because patients are usually immobile while they recover from surgery. Sometimes the surgery itself can cause blood clots. When a clot that forms inside a patient’s blood vessels breaks loose, it can make its way to the lungs. This is known as a pulmonary embolism and can be deadly if it blocks blood flow to the lungs.
Medical professionals should monitor for signs of deep vein thrombosis. These signs can include pain in the leg, swelling or warmth in the leg, veins that stick out, shortness of breath or painful breathing, coughing up blood, or sudden chest pain. Doctor and nurses should also listen to patients when they complain of symptoms that may be signs of a blood clot and act quickly. Doctors should also prescribe blood thinners when necessary to prevent blood clots from forming.
Failure to Diagnose Post-operative Complications
After surgery patients require close monitoring. Failure to diagnose cardiac or respiratory problems in the recovery room can cause catastrophic injury. Failing to recognize signs of a bowel perforation or other internal injury can delay addressing the problem and make repairing it more complex.
Post-operative hemorrhage is a common complication that can occur after surgery. If enough bleeding occurs, a person may go into shock. Hemorrhaging may be caused by loose blood vessel ties, stitches that break, or problems in the clotting mechanism of the blood. Doctors and nurses should carefully monitor a patient for signs of hemorrhaging so that treatment can be immediately administered. Symptoms of internal hemorrhaging include low blood pressure, confusion, headache, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. Unchecked internal hemorrhaging can be deadly.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you believe that you’ve been injured by the negligence of a medical professional, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by medical malpractice. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.