Surgical Errors: A Form of Medical Malpractice

Surgeons and surgical staff are considered the elite within the medical industry. With years of knowledge and extensive training, they’re held to the highest standards, and are expected to operate precisely, compassionately, and without error. Still, many are capable of making mistakes; serious mistakes that can cause further harm or injury—otherwise known as medical malpractice.

By definition, “medical malpractice”, also referred to as “medical negligence”, is when a medical professional or healthcare worker performs an act or omission that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. Being that surgeries are an invasive and exhaustive process, surgical errors are often common within this area of practice, and are often considered medical malpractice.

Why Do Surgical Errors Occur?

Surgeries involve complicated processes, of which a surgeon who is underqualified cannot perform, and therefore may incompetently treat a patient. Additionally, surgeries often span over a course of several hours. A surgeon who is fatigued or under the use of drugs or alcohol cannot perform to the best of their ability, and as a result, may inaccurately treat a patient. Surgeons and their staff must also effectively plan before the surgery and efficiently communicate during the surgery, from obtaining records from previous providers to being prepared for possible complications. Compromising any of the above may be liable grounds for pursuing a medical malpractice case.

Surgical Errors Considered Malpractice

If a surgical error causes further harm or injury to a patient, it may be considered medical malpractice. In order to be considered indisputable, a victim must prove that the surgeon or staff provided care that was inconsistent with what any other reasonably prudent professional would have done under the circumstances. Common surgical errors include:

  • Wrong Site Surgery: Surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body.
  • Organ or Nerve Damage: The nervous system or organ function is compromised as a result of damage to nerves or organs.
  • Infection: Unsanitary equipment or conditions caused the patient to suffer an infection.
  • Wrong Patient: Surgery is unnecessarily performed on the wrong patient and is therefore not performed on the patient in-need.
  • Foreign Object in Body: A surgeon leaves equipment used during the operation in the body.
  • And more

Fighting for You!

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