SURGICAL ERRORS: A LEADING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE PROBLEM
Surgical errors or mistakes cause patients significant issues. Although traditionally performed primarily in hospitals, surgeries are now often performed on an outpatient basis in doctor's offices or at private surgical suites sometimes called specialty surgery centers. Because many surgeries occur with the patient under anesthesia, the patient may not notice the malpractice until days, weeks, or years later. Surgical errors can result in significant corrective medical expenses, pain, suffering, and even death, so when surgical errors occur, a patient must find a lawyer that can determine how negligence on the part of the doctor, staff, or hospital contributed to the injury and how best to pursue a legal case against the liable parties. Some examples of surgical errors are:
- Negligently performed surgery: A surgery that is performed incorrectly.
- Surgery on the wrong body part: A simple miscommunication, such as confusing the left and the right can lead to surgery being performed on the wrong part of a patient's body.
- Medication errors by an anesthesiologist: Too much medication can have serious consequences such as respiratory depression or death, but too little medication can cause the patient to feel everything during surgery.
- Surgery on the wrong patient: A simple misunderstanding, such as switched medical records can lead to a patient undergoing surgery they didn't need.
- Retained object after surgery: Some items that can be mistakenly left behind after surgery include: a scalpel, sponge, gauze, or other instruments.
- Infections: Dirty equipment, a careless doctor, or not providing the right medications can lead to post-surgical infections.
Many factors can lead to surgical errors, including insufficient staffing, burnout, incompetence, drugs or alcohol, miscommunication, and the list goes on. Although patients want to have the utmost confidence in their surgeon, cases like Dr. Death illustrate the devastating effects when surgeons fall short of our expectations. The attorneys at Jordan Woodward Cathey are experienced medical malpractice lawyers that have successfully fought for patients in surgical error cases.