Surgical Errors as Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one has ever needed a surgery, you know that there is no such thing as a “minor” operation. All surgeries involve risk, no matter the size or severity. Because of the inherent risk surgeries bring to patients, undergoing any kind of operation is already stressful enough. Unfortunately, thousands of patients each year must endure additional stress and damage to their wellbeing due to surgical errors.
What are Surgical Errors?
In the simplest terms, surgical errors are preventable mistakes during surgery. According to a study from the Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 patients will suffer from some type of medical error each year, including errors before, after, or during surgery. Many patients think that if they suffer an injury that was listed in an informed consent form signed before surgery, they do not have a case. However, that is not true. The issue is whether the surgical error occurred even though everything was done right, or if it occurred because of incompetence or negligence.
Some examples of surgical errors that may be medical malpractice include:
- Operating on the wrong part of the body, wrong site, or wrong side
- Unnecessarily damaging nerves, vessels, or organs during a surgery
- Failing to recognize damage to vessels or organs before closing
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- from surgical instruments
- Negligent use of surgical instruments, including breaking or leaving instruments inside of a patient
- Failing to properly sanitize surgical tools
- Administering too much or too little medication, i.e. anesthesia error
How Can Medical Malpractice Lead to Surgical Errors?
In addition to errors that occur during an operation, surgical errors can also result when healthcare providers fail to meet the standard of care before and after surgery. Negligent actions that may result in surgical errors include:
- Failing to follow up with a patient after surgery or give proper post operation information
- Failing to advise a patient of all potential risks and properly prepare them for the surgery
- Failing to
ask for a full patient history, including medication allergies, so that the patient’s health risks can be evaluated
- Discharging a patient prematurely
- Prolonging or delaying a surgery
- Miscommunication between medical staff
- Fatigue, stress, or the influence of drugs and/or alcohol may lead to poor judgment and decision making
How We Can Help
Surgical errors can cause health problems or injuries that require further medical attention in the future. For example, patients may suffer from paralysis of certain limbs due to improper blood or oxygen flow during surgery. Because of a preventable mistake, these patients’ quality of life is significantly and sometimes permanently lowered. In the most extreme cases, surgical errors can cause a patient to lose their life. If you or a loved one is coping with the devastating consequences of surgical errors as a result of medical negligence, the person responsible needs to be held liable. At The Brothers Law Firm, we understand your pain and frustration during this time of need. We have represented numerous clients who have suffered serious health problems and even death as a result of negligent surgical errors. We can help you understand your legal rights and determine the best options possible to ensure you and your family get the help you need. To get started, fill out our online form to request a free consultation or call us at 281-491-3635.