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Medical malpractice: Did your surgeon fail in his or her duty?

No one in Ohio or elsewhere likes to think about needing surgery. If you’re preparing for an upcoming procedure or are still recovering from a recent operation, such thoughts are likely front and center in your mind. Perhaps you’re the parent of a child who needs or has undergone a recent surgery. In either case, while an entire medical team works together to tend to patient needs, the surgeon is head of operations.

Sadly, many surgeons fail in their duties to protect patients from injury. Medical neglect is problematic in this state and across the country. It’s important to understand the role your surgeon plays in making sure you stay safe before, during and after surgery. Patients who suffer injury or illness because their surgeons did not fulfill fiduciary duties may have grounds to seek monetary judgments against those deemed responsible for damages.

Educational background sets the tone

One of the reasons your surgeon is in charge of the operating room is that he or she typically has more years of education under his or her belt than anyone else in the room. In fact, many surgeons have studied for 18 years before obtaining a license to operate on patients.

As a medical patient in need of surgery, you can reasonably expect that your surgeon can rely on his or her education to help make decisions and govern events as they unfold in a way that helps keep you safe.

Operating room experience

While it’s true that surgeons with more field experience have higher earning potentials, any surgeon should be able to carry out his or her duties in a professional and sufficient manner. Just because your surgeon may not be as experienced as another, doesn’t mean you should not expect the highest quality care according to current regulations and accepted safety standards.

Post-operative care

Your surgeon’s duty doesn’t end when your operation ends. In fact, post-operative care is a crucial component of a surgeon’s responsibility to his or her patients. Not only is your surgeon the boss of everyone in the operating room, he or she is also responsible for the ultimate outcome of your procedure.

If a problem arises

A surgeon is responsible for the behavior of his or her medical team. It is the surgeon’s duty to make sure every team member adheres to protocol and safety regulations before, during and after surgery. If you or your child suffers injury because a surgeon failed in his or her duty, you should not be financially responsible for expenses that arise as a result.

Ohio medical patients and parents of minors may seek the court’s intervention to hold negligent surgeons financially accountable for substandard care that caused injury.