Surgical Errors

If you or a loved one have undergone surgery, you hope that everything goes well and the doctor declares the procedure a success. In some unfortunate cases, mistakes are made. Though mistakes happen in surgery, it does not automatically mean that you have a case for medical malpractice. In order for the law to consider the mistake medical malpractice, the surgery must have fallen below the acceptable medical standard of care and, in turn, caused you serious injury. Simply put, a surgical error is a preventable mistake that occurs during surgery. Though there is an inherent risk involved in all surgeries, surgical errors go far beyond the known risks. They are unexpected and avoidable. Some of the most common surgical errors that occur include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Administering too much or too little anesthesia
  • Executing an incision in the wrong location
  • Leaving surgical equipment inside a patient
  • Operating on the wrong part of the body
  • Giving the wrong medical treatment to the wrong patient

Surgical errors are serious problems. This kind of medical malpractice is called a matter of commission. If you have been the victim of a surgical error, you need to consider the future burden of the mistake.

Why do surgical errors occur?
There are many reasons why a surgical error can occur. For one, a surgeon who has not performed the procedure very many times may lack the skill to perform the operation successfully. Surgical errors can occur from a lack of preoperative planning. It is important for a surgery to be well-prepared and when it is not, surgical errors can be the result. Sometimes, surgical errors occur when a surgeon takes shortcuts during a procedure. Poor communication has led to many surgical errors, including mistakes in the dosage of medication and even mismarking the point of incision. Fatigue is a leading culprit in surgical errors. Medical professionals often work long shift and procedures can last many hours. When a surgeon is tired, he or she could make mistakes that lead to surgical errors. Drugs and alcohol have also impacted surgeons and staff. The job of health care professionals can be stressful and some turn to substances in order to cope. This can lead to mistakes. Lastly, neglect can play a large role in mistakes occurring during surgery. Sometimes, a surgeon is just not careful enough, fails to ensure properly sterilized instruments or uses defective surgical equipment. With so many factors that can lead to medical mistakes and surgical errors, discussing your case with an attorney is in your best interest.

Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.