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When are Surgical Errors a Result Of Medical Malpractice?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

rockford malpractice lawyerSurgeries are performed every day, however, no operation is the same. While surgeons may be properly equipped to handle the complexities of surgery, errors can and do still happen. When surgical errors occur, patients can be harmed. Surgical injuries can have a substantial physical, financial, and emotional impact on a victim and their families. Victims of medical malpractice surgical errors should be knowledgeable of how their injury occurred and how they can effectively fight for available damages. 

Categories and Causes of Surgical Errors

Every surgery will have unique characteristics and challenges, however, some mistakes can lead to lasting patient harm. Some of the most significant errors include operating on an incorrect body part, operating on the wrong patient, leaving a piece of equipment inside a patient’s body, and administering the wrong amount of medication.  

Understanding why and how the error was made is usually much more difficult, however, the errors are often associated with these themes:

  • Improper work processes, such as skipping necessary steps, may lead to surgical errors. 

  • If surgeons use drugs or alcohol, the potential for a surgical error is much higher. 

  • Poor communication can lead to critical errors in the operating room such as performing an operation on an incorrect body part or providing the wrong dosage of medicine.  

  • Surgical errors may arise when a surgeon neglects to adequately prepare for an operation. This includes reviewing and preparing for any possible issues that may occur. 

  • Fatigue can also lead to mistakes during surgery.

  • If a surgeon does not have sufficient training or skills to successfully perform the surgery, a patient is more likely to sustain an injury.

  • Surgeon negligence may also be a factor in surgical errors, including the failure to properly sterilize equipment or the intentional use of defective equipment.

When Are Surgical Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

When a preventable mistake occurs during surgery, it is referred to as a surgical error. Because an element of risk exists across all surgeries, patients typically provide their informed consent prior to surgery. However, some surgical errors are completely unexpected. 

When mistakes occur during an operation, an error constitutes medical malpractice if it does not meet the medical standard of care and the patient’s injury was a direct result of the error. The medical standard of care is the level and type of care a typical medical professional of similar expertise would provide in the same geographic location and in a similar situation. 

A patient may only recover damages if they were explicitly harmed by the substandard care. Generally, negligent or substandard care is simple to establish. Proving that a patient was harmed due to the surgical error is typically more challenging, however, a knowledgeable attorney will be able to determine if there are any compensation options available and assist in taking the appropriate steps toward recovery. 

Contact Our Rockford Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

A patient who suffers surgical errors during their operation can sustain very serious injuries and possibly death. If you believe you or your loved one was harmed during surgery due to substandard care, it is highly recommended that you connect with an attorney with Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS. Our compassionate Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyers have vast experience recovering compensation for their clients who have suffered from a wide range of medical malpractice. Call 815-215-7561 today to schedule your free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primer/wrong-site-wrong-procedure-and-wrong-patient-surgery

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/101/HB/10100HB1470.htm

 

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