May 26, 2019

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Surgical Error

Law Firms Representing Victims of Surgical Error

Surgical mistakes are far too common and often constitute medical malpractice.  Whether it is actionable or if an attorney would take the case depends on a number of factors, including whether the mistake caused a serious injury or death. Of course there are risks inherent to any surgery, and complications are not always the result of surgical error, but when a mistake is made, surgeons and others involved do not always come forward and inform the patient or the patient’s family. If you believe that your injury or the death of a loved one was caused by surgical error, a medical malpractice law firm can help you obtain justice.

Common Surgical Mistakes

Surgical errors are not limited to mistakes made while the patient is on the operating table. They can happen at any stage in the process from the decision to perform the surgery through aftercare. Examples of surgical mistakes include:

  • Anesthesia error
  • Injury to an organ, nerve, muscle or vein which should not have been involved in the surgery
  • Leaving objects such as sponges, gauze, or surgical instruments inside of the patient
  • Use of dirty surgical instruments
  • Other unsanitary conditions
  • Wrong site surgery including surgery on the wrong part of the body and surgery on the wrong patient
  • Dangerously prolonged procedure
  • Improper fluid and electrolyte administration
  • Inappropriate procedure for the patient’s condition or medical history
  • Failure to give the patient proper pre-operative instructions including when to stop eating and drinking before surgery and any instructions regarding medications
  • Failure to obtain informed consent regarding possible complications
  • Inadequate aftercare
  • Failure to give patient proper post-operative self-care instructions
  • Failure to follow up with patient when necessary

Harm Caused by Surgical Error

Surgical mistakes can cause a wide range of injuries and harm depending on the type of error that was made. Some common consequences of surgical error include:

  • Organ damage or loss, including removal of the wrong organ
  • Loss of limb
  • Infection and sepsis
  • Severe and/or chronic pain
  • Prolonged and more difficult recovery
  • Additional surgeries to correct the mistake
  • Disfigurement
  • Brain injury
  • Nerve damage
  • Disability
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Causes of Surgical Error

Some of the common underlying causes of surgical error include:

  • Inadequate policies and procedures
  • Poor patient tracking and record keeping
  • Inadequate or improper surgical site marking
  • Poor communication between surgical staff
  • Failure to count all objects before opening and closing the surgical site
  • Inadequate sanitation and sterilization practices
  • Intoxication, fatigue, or other impairment by surgeons and/or their staff
  • Defective equipment
  • Poor judgment

To connect with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area, please search our network of medical malpractice law firms today.