As you know, sutures are used to close wounds that were either created during a surgical procedure or when the patient was involved in some sort of accident that caused a laceration.
A child falls from his bike, gets a cut, and has the cut closed with sutures at the hospital. It looks like thread holds the wound shut. This is why people typically use the word stitches instead of sutures. After several weeks, the child will return to the doctor and have the sutures removed.
This is only the case with sutures that need to be removed; they do not go away on their own by dissolving. The medical community refers to them as nonabsorbable sutures. The kinds of sutures that dissolve are called absorbable sutures.
The experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney knows that doctors will chose absorbable or nonabsorbable sutures depending on the circumstances. Sometimes it is not appropriate to use one or the other. Note, however, that often times the choice of using either one is just about the doctor’s own personal preference.
Absorbable sutures are good because a doctor does not have to physically remove them in the future. Obviously, if a patient has stitches within his/her body, one would not want to open that patient up just to remove stitches.
Why not use them all the time? The main reason is because absorbable sutures can dissolve too rapidly; before the patient’s wound has healed. When this happens, the patient’s wound may reopen.
If the part of the body being stitched will heal rapidly, then absorbable sutures are fine to use. Otherwise, the doctor might want to use nonabsorbable stitches.
Since mere doctor preference often dictates which type of stitches are to be used, it is important to discuss when a doctor can get in trouble for using the wrong type of suture.
When a doctor is free to choose either one, he or she may not be in trouble for choosing poorly. On the other hand, if the medical profession has set a standard by which the doctor must follow, the doctor can be in trouble if he or she did not use the right form of suture.
If the medical community says that in such-and-such surgery, the doctor should use nonabsorbable sutures to close the patient wound, than that is what the surgeon should use. If the surgeon deviates from that standard and the patient ends up hurt as a result, the surgeon has committed medical malpractice.
If the patient suffered pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, etc. because of such malpractice, the victim can sue the doctor in a court of law for monetary compensation.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.