Six Most Common Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are some of the most common medical mistakes that lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. Even though any surgical error could give rise to a medical malpractice claim, some surgical errors appear to be more common than other medical mistakes. Our New York medical malpractice attorneys handle cases involving all types of surgical errors, including podiatric surgical errors and other medical mistakes.

What are the Most Common Surgical Errors That Could Lead to a Medical Malpractice Claim?

When you have surgery, your surgeon, other physicians, the medical facility, and the staff members have a duty of care to prevent further injury or illness. However, surgical errors can cause life-threatening conditions, traumatic injuries, and permanent disabilities. Surgical errors that can give rise to a medical malpractice claim include:

  • Anesthesia Errors — Errors involving anesthesia can be life-threatening. If the physician does not prescribe the correct medications or doses, a patient can develop serious complications. In addition, failing to monitor the patient throughout surgery carefully could cause serious injuries or death.
  • Incorrect Operation Area — Yes, it can happen. A surgeon is supposed to operate on the left knee, but instead operates on the right knee.
  • Incorrect Surgical Procedure — Failures in communication are often a factor in this type of surgical mistake.
  • Infections — Medical facilities, physicians, and medical staff members must be extremely diligent to take all measures to avoid infections. Infections can be caused by a variety of mistakes, including contaminated equipment or improper maintenance. Failing to diagnose and treat infections after surgery can also lead to a medical malpractice claim.
  • Leaving Tools Inside a Patient — There have been numerous instances in which a sponge, clamp, or other surgical instrument was left inside of the patient. Patients may not discover these surgical errors until weeks, months, or even years after surgery when they experience unexplained symptoms or a serious health crisis.
  • Nerve Damage or Organ Puncture — All surgical procedures have risks; however, if a surgeon or other medical provider is negligent in causing nerve damage or puncturing another organ, the result could be catastrophic.

The above list is not an extensive list of surgical errors that could be considered medical malpractice. You should discuss your situation with experienced New York medical malpractice attorneys to determine if your injury meets the requirements for a medical malpractice claim.

Why Do Surgical Mistakes Happen?

No two surgical procedures are identical, even when the surgeries are the same.  For example, a patient may undergo a simple appendectomy without any problems, while another patient may suffer permanent nerve damage. Not all bad results are the cause of surgical errors. New York medical malpractice attorneys investigate cases to determine if the surgical error occurred because of:

  • Lack of pre-operative planning
  • Incompetence
  • Lack of or poor communication
  • Impairments because of drugs or alcohol
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to provide adequate pre-operative instructions to the patient
  • Neglect
  • Failure to diagnose a condition or misdiagnosis of a condition
  • Failing to follow proper surgical protocols and procedures
  • Failing to account for pre-existing conditions

If the surgeon or any other member of the team is negligent, careless, or reckless, that person and others may be held liable for damages in a medical malpractice claim.

Contact Our New York Surgical Malpractice Attorneys for a Free Consultation

You trust your surgeon and other medical providers to help you get better. You do not expect them to make matters worse. Contact our New York surgical malpractice attorneys today to discuss your options. We assist patients who have been injured because of surgical errors seek the compensation they deserve.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.