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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Common Types of Surgical Errors That Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

September 14, 2023 in ,

Surgery requires the utmost precision and expertise. The surgeons performing these procedures often have decades of experience and education in their specialties. However, surgeons are only human, and surgical errors can and do occur. These errors, caused by medical negligence, can have lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Below, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. discuss common types of surgical errors, how they may lead to medical malpractice claims, and why it’s imperative to consult with a lawyer for malpractice claims who specializes in medical negligence.

What are the Most Common Types of Surgical Errors?

While mistakes can happen for innocent reasons, surgical errors often occur alongside medical malpractice. That is when a healthcare professional fails to meet the accepted standards of care, significantly threatening patient safety. These errors comprise a significant portion of medical malpractice cases, and their impact on victims can be devastating. Some of the most common types of surgical errors that may lead to seeking an attorney for medical negligence claims include:

  • Wrong-Site Surgery

Surgery on the wrong site or body part is one of the most egregious surgical errors. This type of error can occur due to miscommunication or inadequate pre-operative planning but can have long-lasting negative consequences on the patient’s health. Wrong-site surgeries cause unnecessary pain and suffering, necessitate additional corrective procedures, and can cause permanent damage.

  • Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia plays a crucial role in surgical procedures, but errors related to its administration occur and can have serious consequences. Anesthesiologists may administer excessive or insufficient anesthesia, fail to monitor vital signs adequately, or use faulty equipment. Such errors can result in brain damage, respiratory distress, or even death.

  • Surgical Instrument Retention

Leaving surgical instruments, sponges, or other foreign objects inside a patient’s body after surgery is alarmingly common. This oversight can lead to infections, organ damage, and chronic pain. 

  • Nerve or Organ Damage

The body is a complicated vessel that involves delicate tissues and structures. When healthcare providers harm these structures, it can cause long-lasting nerve or organ damage, loss of bodily functions, and even chronic pain. These injuries’ risk increases when surgeons fail to exercise extreme care and precision. 

How Can These Surgical Errors Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims?

The most common example in which surgical errors can lead to medical malpractice claims is when medical professionals deviate from the standard of care. Since every surgical procedure has established protocols and guidelines that surgeons and medical staff must follow, if a surgeon fails to adhere to these standards, such as performing surgery on the wrong site or leaving instruments inside the patient’s body, it can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Another common legal claim occurs when surgeons fail to obtain informed consent. Failing to obtain informed consent can happen when surgeons do not provide patients with clear and accurate information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the type of medical procedure they receive. Surgery is often a last resort for many patients, but there are instances in which a patient may not want to deal with the long-lasting side effects of the surgery. The physician must keep the patient informed throughout the entire process and present them with alternatives if they are available.

Lastly, anesthesia errors, where anesthesiologists fail to administer the proper dosage, monitor vital signs, or manage complications, can result in severe harm or death that may rise to the level of medical negligence. For example, an anesthesiologist may administer too much or too little anesthesia, leading to complications such as respiratory distress, cardiovascular issues, or even waking up during the procedure. Likewise, not tracking a patient’s allergies can lead to medical negligence because the anesthesiologist must be aware of all allergies in the patient’s medical records.

When medical malpractice occurs, patients may suffer injuries due to these surgical errors, and they have the right to seek compensation for their damages. By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with a medical malpractice lawyer, they can hold the responsible healthcare professionals accountable for their actions and recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related losses.

Why Is It Important to Seek Legal Representation Following Surgical Errors?

If you or a loved one has experienced surgical errors resulting from medical negligence, seeking the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney is essential. These legal professionals possess extensive knowledge of the laws, regulations, and standards governing surgical procedures. They can provide legal expertise, aid in negotiation, and guide and support throughout the process, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Surgical errors can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, it is crucial to consult with a qualified attorney specializing in medical malpractice. They possess the knowledge and skills to help you understand your rights, navigate the complex legal system, and fight for the compensation you may be entitled to. Remember, you do not have to face this challenging journey alone—legal support is available to help you or your family members seek justice and hold accountable those responsible for the surgical errors that have impacted your life.

Contact the Experienced New York Medical Negligence Attorneys at SPBMCC to Seek Justice Today

Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. is a reputable full-service personal injury law firm specializing in various areas, including medical negligence cases. Our dedicated litigation support teams are committed to vigorously representing clients in matters such as 9/11-related illnesses, personal injury, car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and firefighter law across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk counties, and New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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