Post-operation complications can happen for many reasons. However, many complications are caused by surgical errors or by inadequate post-procedure follow-up care. Patients should be aware that the majority of complications following common surgical procedures occur among patients who were treated by a small group of care providers. This suggests that there are a small number of doctors who are not doing a very good job and who are causing the bulk of harm to patients.
If you are one of the patients who experiences post-surgical problems, you need to determine if your health issues are simply bad luck or if you were the victim of a surgical error. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to obtain your medical records after your surgery and can help you to find an independent medical expert to review them. If a problem during your procedure or follow-up care is identified, we can help you to pursue a claim against the doctor, hospital, or other care providers whose actions caused you damage.
Comparing Surgical Rates Among Atlanta Physicians
ProPublica recently issued a warning to patients about the frequency of surgical errors in common procedures, including hip and knee replacements and prostate removal procedures. ProPublica revealed that procedures performed by 11 percent of physicians account for around 25 post of all post-surgical complications.
The data was published as part of ProPublica’s new score card ranking surgeons nationwide. Patients who are considering getting treatment or who have already undergone procedures can put their surgeon’s information or local area into a search tool to find out complication rates for local providers.
There are more than 17,000 surgeons who perform common procedures who are included in ProPublica’s report card. Consumer Reports has indicated that this is the first tool of its kind that provides specific data on surgical errors down to a physician-by-physician level. While there has been some criticism of the research methods used to compile the report card, Consumer Reports still believes the data is very valuable to those who are considering where to get medical treatment or who are facing health problems after surgery and who want to know how their doctor stacks up compared with others.
ProPublica compiled data on post-procedure complications by looking at Medicare billing records. Data was adjusted to account for patient age and overall health status. The assessment of surgeons performing common surgical procedures took into account how often the procedure was performed by the care provider, as well as how frequently problems developed. The assessments showed that sometimes physicians at large and well respected hospitals had very high error rates. One surgeon at nationally-renowned John’s Hopkins had a rate of complications 10 times higher than colleagues, despite performing the procedure nine times less often than those colleagues. Patients need to realize that just because they get a procedure done at a facility with a good reputation does not mean their particular doctor is a good one.
Patients should strongly consider reviewing data on individual surgeons before they schedule treatment. If you have already undergone surgery, the information provided can still be helpful as you try to figure out whether problems you are experiencing were caused by medical negligence or surgical error. An experienced legal professional can help you to determine the cause of your health issues and can help you to pursue a claim for medical malpractice.
The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent surgeon. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.