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Common Causes of Surgical Errors

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyersThe medical advances our society has achieved in the last few decades have allowed people to overcome injuries and illnesses that would have certainly been fatal in the past. Many of these advancements involve invasive surgical procedures. Getting surgery almost always involves certain risks, but some of these risks are avoidable and completely unacceptable. When an avoidable surgical error is made during an operation, the results can be catastrophic. Surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can be held legally responsible when these types of medical mistakes result in the death or injury of a patient. 

Understanding When a Medical Professional Has Committed Medical Negligence

Sometimes problems and complications occur during surgery due to no fault of the medical staff conducting the operation. Just because a surgical procedure fails to produce the desired result does not mean medical negligence has occurred. Generally, medical negligence is defined as when substandard medical care leads to some type of harm to the patient.

Some surgical errors are so preventable that they are called “never events” meaning that these particular mistakes should never happen. Never events include mistakes like leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient's body, performing surgery on the wrong body part, and performing the wrong surgical procedure on a patient. These types of mistakes often lead to medical malpractice claims. 

Many Surgical Errors Are Caused by Miscommunication

Surgical errors can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Common causes of surgical errors include but are not limited to:

  • Poor communication between medical staff: Surgical errors often happen because staff have not properly communicated about the surgery amongst each other. For example, a surgeon fixing a broken leg may operate on the wrong leg due to a misunderstanding among medical personnel;
  • Surgeons or other medical professionals under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Although it is shocking, some medical professionals have been caught making serious medical errors because they consumed drugs or alcohol before a surgery;
  • Inadequate preoperative planning: Preoperative errors such as failing to take a complete patient history can result in needless surgical complications;
  • Extreme fatigue: Surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff often must work long hours without time to take a break. When medical personnel are extremely tired, they can make careless mistakes; and
  • Incompetence or inadequate training: When you get surgery, you have every right to expect the surgeon and other staff to be fully trained and competent to successfully complete the surgery. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Contact a Rockford, IL Surgical Mistake Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one have suffered due to a surgical error, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. To discuss your possible claim, contact an experienced Winneabago County medical malpractice attorney at Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS. Call us at 815-215-7561 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20121220/thousands-mistakes-surgery#3

https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/3/never-events

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