Chemnick | Moen | Greenstreet

Medical Malpractice. It's All We Do. 206-443-8600

Post-operative Errors in Care, Including Failure to Monitor

When an operation is over and the patient is taken to the recovery room (PACU) and later to the regular floor for discharge, most people think the danger is over. But the potential for deadly errors still exists. Most often these errors revolve around failing to adequately monitor post-operative patients.

When the patient’s breathing tube is removed, it may be too early and breathing problems will occur. Careful monitoring by nurses and respiratory therapists is necessary to avoid complications.

Patients often receive pain medications such as morphine or Dilaudid, which can cause respiratory depression leading to brain damage or death if not properly monitored. This risk is greatly increased in patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and who may not be using a C-PAP machine in the hospital.

Excessive bleeding may occur undetected. For back surgeries, the bleeding can cause a hematoma that can compress the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing paralysis or bowel and bladder dysfunction. The key to early diagnosis and intervention lies in careful monitoring of the patient by nurses and other hospital personnel.

Loss of a Limb from Improper Monitoring

Client Case Study

Loss of a Limb from Improper Monitoring

"In 2006, Barry went in for routine surgery for a heart-valve replacement, and we expected him to be back at work within a week. Unfortunately because of his relative youth and size, he was not monitored appropriately and the blood supply was cut off to one of his legs. After 18 operations for debridement, the leg could not be saved and was amputated six months later.

After a large law firm turned us down, we were referred to Chemnick Moen Greenstreet through friends. Working with Pat and Paul was more than we could hope for. They were a great team. With her medical background, Pat found the best experts and Paul fought hard for a great settlement. They were there for us as a family that went beyond our case."

Barry and Lula M.
Federal Way, WA

Chemnick | Moen | Greenstreet
115 NE 100th St #220, Seattle, WA 98125 US
Phone: 206-443-8600
Fax: 206-443-6904