Surgery compensation

Surgical and emergency medicine malpractice arises when surgical or emergency medical treatment falls below an acceptable standard. If you have been hurt by inadequate surgical or emergency medical advice or treatment, our experienced medical negligence lawyers can help you claim compensation.

There are many different kinds of surgical procedures and techniques, but general surgery negligence claims usually involve four main issues:

  • whether the patient was an appropriate candidate for that surgery;
  • whether the surgery was performed with reasonable care and skill;
  • whether proper post-surgical care was given, including detecting and treating infection; and
  • whether the patient was properly advised of the risks of the surgery so that 'informed consent' could be given.

Medical malpractice claims arising from negligent surgical procedures include:

  • complications of cardiac surgery;
  • injuries suffered following orthopaedic surgery (including back surgery, hip replacement, osteotomy, compartment syndrome, and cauda equina syndrome);
  • hypoxic brain damage following cardiac bypass surgery
  • injuries suffered during laparoscopic ('keyhole') surgery including damage to the bowel or blood vessels;
  • injuries suffered following lap banding for weight loss reduction;
  • injuries suffered during hernia repair, gall bladder removal, hysterectomy and other abdominal surgery;
  • complications of arthroscopy;
  • complications of eye surgery (including laser surgery);
  • anaesthetic accidents;
  • anaesthetic awareness;
  • post-operative infections; and
  • failure to warn of material risks
  • injuries suffered during dental procedures; and
  • injuries suffered during cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery compensation

Many claims are brought against surgeons because they have failed to adequately explain the risks of cosmetic surgery procedures, because of the way the procedure was performed, or because of inadequate post-operative care. When the procedure is elective and has benefits courts can be reluctant to award compensation when the claim is based on an inadequate explanation of the risks involved.

Medical negligence claims involving cosmetic surgery include:

  • breast-reduction surgery resulting in unexpected and unsightly scarring;
  • breast-uplift surgery resulting in scarring;
  • poor outcomes from dermabrasion, chemical peels and laser surgery to face and other parts of the body;
  • face-lift surgery resulting in unexpected scarring;
  • face-lift surgery resulting in injury to the accessory nerve;
  • liposuction procedures resulting in scarring;
  • liposuction surgery resulting in an unrecognised perforation to the bowel;
  • cosmetic surgery performed without proper consent; and
  • poor outcomes from rhinoplasty.

Emergency medicine compensation

Compensation claims for negligent emergency medical treatment are often against hospitals rather than individual doctors. Medical malpractice claims for emergency treatment failures include:

  • failure to diagnose meningitis or some other serious disease;
  • failure to diagnose and treat compartment syndrome;
  • failure to diagnose and treat cerebral haemorrhage or aneurysm;
  • failure to diagnose and treat cardiac arrest;
  • failure to diagnose and treat heart attack;
  • lumbar puncture in the presence of raised intra-cranial pressure;
  • failure to diagnose and treat stroke;
  • failure to diagnose and treat appendicitis;
  • failure to detect and properly set fractures;
  • failure to properly clean and dress wounds;
  • failure to diagnose and treat severed or damaged nerves; and
  • failure to perform or adequately interpret diagnostic tests (for example, blood tests, urine analysis, x-rays, CT and MRI scans).

Time limits apply to medical malpractice claims, so if you think you have experienced negligence or malpractice, contact Maurice Blackburn today about how we can help, we have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and throughout Australia. 


All you need to know about Medical Negligence

If your health care professional, hospital or other facility breaches what’s known as their duty of care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

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