Surgical Errors

Mistakes and Malpractice in Surgery

A surgical error can cause serious injury, illness or even death. When a surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse or other person associated with a surgical procedure is negligent, makes a mistake or commits some other wrongdoing, this may be considered a form of medical malpractice. An injured patient or the family of a patient who has lost his or her life may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent surgeon, nurse or other medical professional or perhaps the hospital where the procedure was performed. In doing so, the victim may be able to seek and recover financial compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings and other damages or losses caused by the incident.

Some examples of surgical errors include: performing the wrong procedure, performing the procedure to the wrong part of the body (example: left arm instead of right arm), leaving something behind and anesthesia malpractice.

Anesthesia Malpractice
Administering anesthesia and monitoring a patient during surgery are important aspects of any surgical procedure. An anesthesiologist should be properly trained and should exercise due diligence during the procedure to ensure the patient is as safe and comfortable as possible. When a mistake is made by an anesthesiologist, a patient may suffer from serious complications or may even lose his or her life.

Leaving Something Behind
You may have heard horror stories about patients who underwent surgical procedures only to suffer from serious infections or other complications, later finding out that a cotton swab or even a surgical instrument was left behind by a negligent surgeon. In these cases, it is crucial to seek legal counsel to consider whether you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Organ Perforation
Any surgery has inherent risks, but a skilled surgeon should properly perform a procedure in order to minimize these. Organ perforation may occur if a surgeon is careless or negligent and may therefore be considered a form of medical malpractice. These cases are particularly difficult to deal with, as some procedures are so difficult or complex as to make organ perforation a potential and even expected risk.

Wrong Body Part or Organ
Operating on the wrong organ or body part is an inexcusable form of surgical malpractice. Medical records should be accurate and a surgeon should be careful in determining that he or she is operating on the correct body part or organ. This type of surgical error may not only expose a patient to an unnecessary procedure but may result in serious complications if the underlying illness or injury is left untreated.

Wrong Procedure
Performing the wrong surgical procedure is serious. The underlying medical condition may be left untreated, and the patient may be exposed to an unnecessary and dangerous procedure. The patient will still have to undergo the intended procedure. Because every surgery carries risks, this may only serve to increase the chance of complications and lasting injuries.

Filing a Lawsuit for Surgical Malpractice

If a surgical error caused injury to you or someone you know, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. It is important to review your particular case with a qualified attorney who understands the ins and outs of surgical malpractice and how to protect your legal rights. You can use our directory to find and compare attorneys in your area that handle medical malpractice claims involving botched surgical procedures.

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