Accidental Burns During Surgery

Accidental Burns During Surgery

Many times a patient will go in for a routine operation performed under general anesthesia but may come out of surgery with a 3rd or 4th-degree burn injury as a result of an operating room error. An electrical, or electrocautery, burn can occur when the grounding pad for electrical surgical equipment is improperly placed, or placed on wet skin, sending electricity through the grounding pad and into the patient – whose skin is overheated to the point of being burned by the electrical current.  A heat transfer, or thermal, burn can occur when overheated surgical equipment makes contact with the patient’s skin, or heat-producing surgical equipment slips during use and damages skin rather than remaining in the operative field.  A majority of the burn injuries suffered by patients during surgery are located on the torso or lower extremities. These burns are often the result of a medical mistake and are largely preventable.

Burns which occur during surgery can be severe, destroying the upper (epidermis) and lower (dermis) layers of the patient’s skin, and even extending into the fat and muscle tissues below.  A 3rd-degree burn may destroy the skin’s sweat glands, hair follicles and nerve-endings. A 4th degree burn not only damages structures within the skin layer but also injures the fat, muscle or even goes as deep as the bone.  Third and Fourth-degree burns, also called full thickness burns, are so severe that they can result in extended hospital stays.

Surgical burn injuries may cause an infection, either at the site of the burn or a systemic infection (sepsis), and burn injuries may require additional surgical procedures to remove damaged skin tissue (debridement) and/or repair destroyed tissue (skin graft).  Once the initial wound heals, the patient may require scar revision surgery to reduce the size and appearance of the surgical burn scarring.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a disfiguring burn during surgery, contact the Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (1-800-9678-529). The attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced, caring professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. Call us today to receive a free, confidential consultation about your possible case.

We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.