Harris Powers & Cunningham HPC Law Offices

Harris Powers & Cunningham

Serious Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

The failure to educate surgery patients

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Patients in Arizona and around the country who are about to have a surgical procedure performed often fail to be properly informed about what to expect both during the operation as well as afterwards. Health care providers and medical professionals that do not properly educate patients run the risk of being negligent.

A recent Gallup poll was conducted on patients who had undergone a medical device implantation. They were asked whether they had been informed as to what to expect after the procedure, if they were adequately prepared for the experience and if they had followed instructions as to what to do after the surgery. Only 37 percent of the respondents strongly agreed with all three queries, while 17 percent agreed with none of them. It was found that those who agreed with at least one of the questions had a better post-surgery outcome than those who agreed with none of them. In addition, those who agreed with at least two had better physical and emotional experiences.

Communication is key when it comes to informing patients about what they are going through. Informed patients are able to make sound decisions that keep them safer, so effective methods of communication are vital. Information can be delivered in the form of literature, one-on-one discussions and other ways. By matching the method of communication to the needs of the patient, health care providers can greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome. They need to ensure that they have informed patients of what to expect prior to before surgery, during surgery and after it has been completed.

A patient whose medical condition has worsened due to a failure of a health care practitioner to provide accurate information and education prior to surgery may wish to speak with an attorney to see if there is any legal recourse. The attorney may look at the patient’s records as well as obtain the opinions of experts in an attempt to determine if medical negligence was present.

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