There are innumerable risks associated with surgery and every year around the world thousands die from complications, accidents, negligence, and malpractice during, after and even before surgery. Even routine operations performed many times by a competent, skilled and experienced surgeon can still end badly. This fact is periodically brought to the public’s mind when famous people like Neil Armstrong die from seemingly straightforward operations.
Disentangling all the disparate elements to find out what went wrong and apportioning responsibility can be difficult.
While surgery can go wrong in many different ways, the many risks can be categorised into several groups:
- Medical staff errors - misdiagnosis, improper calculation of risks of performing surgery versus no intervention, breach of asepsis and aseptic practices, negligence, malpractice, errors in surgery such as accidentally rupturing an artery, fraud, etc.
- Infection - infection remains a very high risk in surgery due to the persistence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals. Medical staff have to maintain extremely disciplined sterilisation techniques.
- Allergic reactions to drugs - this can cause problems even before surgery begins when patients are administered pre-operation drugs.
- Anaesthesia - a severe reaction to anaesthesia drugs such as a rapid increase in body temperature is just one of the numerous possibilities that go wrong with major surgery.
- Bleeding and blood clots during and after surgery - e.g. the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) during recovery when the patient is often immobile for days.
- After-effects of surgery - tingling, numbness, paralysis, unexpected further injury and not achieving the desired outcome (e.g. removing all of a tumour).
At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget.
Expertise in Action
By examining the operation case notes, experts in surgery will be able to offer opinion on whether the surgery was warranted, whether the correct procedure was chosen and performed, and whether the correct type and quantity of drugs were administered. Where post-surgery complications arise, an expert will be able to offer opinion on how problems were dealt with by comparison with the latest medical research, surgical techniques, equipment and methodologies.
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Asepsis and Aseptic Practices in the Operating Room
The goal of asepsis and aseptic technique is to prevent the transfer of microorganisms into the surgical wound. Preventing surgical site contamination requires the efforts of all trained surgical team members to use their knowledge and experience in aseptic practices to provide their patients with optimal care resulting in positive surgical outcomes.
Postoperative complications in Australia and New Zealand (the REASON study)
The REASON study, looking at institutions throughout New Zealand and Australia, confirmed that postoperative complications and mortality are important areas for multicentre trials.
George v Biggs  NSWDC 11
A woman successfully sued her doctor and the hospital for negligence due to inadequate provision of pre-operative information, advice and warnings regarding her assessment of risk before she gave her consent to the surgical procedure.
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