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Burn Injuries From Medical Procedures: Is It Malpractice?

When a person receives medical care, they don’t expect to suffer from a burn injury. When is a burn injury the result of medical malpractice? What can a victim do? Can they receive compensation?

Our Greenville medical malpractice lawyer, Bobby Jones, explains what options an individual who suffers a burn injury during a medical procedure.

Could a Burn Injury Be Medical Malpractice?

Burn injuries may occur during surgery, diagnostic procedures, treatment, inpatient care, and outpatient settings. A burn injury may be the result of medical procedure malpractice.

A victim may claim compensation through medical malpractice legal action.

The legal claim is based on a professional standard of care, with economic and non-economic damages available to a victim.

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology, many burn injuries in medical care are preventable. When care providers fail to use reasonable care and caution meeting professional standards, a patient who suffers a burn injury may be the victim of medical malpractice. Malpractice may also occur when healthcare providers fail to take reasonable steps to address adverse events and injuries when they happen.

Types of Burns During Medical Procedures

Surgical fires

Hundreds of surgical fires happen each year in the United States. Equipment used to perform surgery can pose a fire hazard. For example, light sources may be exposed to fuel and flammable materials, including oxygen or nitrous oxide.

MRI burns

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can result in thermal burn. In one case, tiny metal fibers in a pair of sweatpants caused a victim to suffer a burn injury while having an MRI. The procedure took only 15 minutes, but that was enough to cause a burn. In fact, as many as 70% of MRI complications are thermal burns. Heat or direct contact may cause injury.

Laser burns

Lasers allow for precise medical procedures. However, they can also cause burns. The body may absorb the heat produced by the laser. Delivering too much energy through a laser or failing to use cooling techniques can result in a burn during a medical procedure. The chances of a burn decrease if a laser uses pulsing to allow body cells to cool.

Radiation burns

Radiation is energy. In medical care, radiation is used for diagnosis and treatment. While a helpful tool in medical care, radiation can also cause burns.

Radiation burns may appear weeks after treatment.

Complications from surgical burn

A surgical burn may result in local or systemic infection. The victim may need additional surgery, debridement, skin grafting, treatment for infection, pain management, medications including steroid ointment, and wound care.

Are burns from medical procedures serious?

Burns from medical procedures vary in severity, but any burn is harmful to a patient undergoing medical care. A patient may suffer prolonged medical care, additional medical problems, and pain.

How Can Medical Burns Be Prevented?

Medical burns can be prevented with education, awareness, and action. As healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, and technicians should be aware of the possibility of a patient suffering a burn during a procedure. They should use appropriate equipment and handle it in a way that minimizes risk. They must understand the dangers of providing medical services in a professional and reasonable manner.

How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice Caused a Burn Injury?

To prove medical malpractice caused a burn injury, you may show:

  • Lack of understanding about the possibility of burn injuries
  • Inadequate patient monitoring during the procedure
  • Malfunctioning of surgical equipment
  • Performing the medical procedure incorrectly
  • Use of the wrong equipment, materials, and supplies
  • Failing to check equipment for use
  • Poorly addressing a problem during the procedure
  • Incorrect assessment of patient risk

As your attorney, Bobby Jones investigates and gathers information about what happened. He works with experts to evaluate what occurred and the actions of each party.

Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer About Your Burn Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury because of a medical procedure, we invite you to contact Bobby Jones Law and speak to attorney Robert “Bobby” Jones. Let us investigate whether medical malpractice caused the burn injury. We can evaluate damages and build the evidence to prove your right to compensation.

Get answers to your questions and discuss your options. Bobby Jones Law is currently taking new cases. To see how we may assist you, contact us today.

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