When is Surgical Error Medical Negligence?

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Being a surgeon is one of the most respected professions because it is also one of the most difficult occupations one can have; it takes a lot of studying, practicing and learning to become a good surgeon, and the job is highly stressful because people’s lives depend directly on your expertise. But a surgeon is just a human with a scalpel, so he or she is prone to error as well; when medical negligence occurs during surgery, it can have grave consequences, and even lead to the patient’s death.

Surgical Error Surgical Error picture

Surgery errors don’t always fall under medical negligence, but they do when the surgeon exhibits negligent conduct and acts in a way that affects the patient’s condition. Doctors have to provide a standard of care, and when their actions are below those standards, medical malpractice occurs and the patients suffer unnecessary trauma, of physical or mental nature. That being said, a surgical error is an error that could have been avoided. However, not all errors occurring during surgery are the surgeon’s fault, as many of them happen due to poor preoperative planning, malfunctioning medical equipment or inadequate procedures.

One must remember however that every surgery is a complicated procedure and presents risks, whether it was necessary after an auto accident, heart problem, organ transplant or joint replacement, or had some other cause. It is then no wonder that almost half of the surgeries taking place in America annually come with a surgical error. That being said, here are some common causes for surgical errors:

  • wrong site surgery;
  • leaving equipment inside a patient;
  • operating on the wrong patient;
  • incorrect incisions;
  • anesthesiology errors;
  • nerve damage;
Surgical Error Surgical Error picture

Because every surgery presents risks, such as heart failure, patients are usually asked to sign documents where they agree with the procedure and testify to being aware of the risks involved. But when the damages are too big, you are entitled to compensation and can lodge a claim with the help of a medical negligence solicitor. Like we mentioned before, surgical error can be caused by improper preoperative planning, meaning that the team of doctors operating have to be aware of the patient’s medical history and current condition, to know how he/she reacts to certain medication and whether the surgery presents any risks.

Other reasons for surgical error are miscommunication and fatigue; the doctors either misunderstand each other during the operation, or they are too tired and make a mistake. There have also been cases when the surgeon was under the influence of various substances, which led to wrongful acting and thus injured the patient. Neglect is also one of the faults, and it can mean improper sterilization of the instruments or failure to recognize defective equipment, expired medication and so on. If you are thinking of making a claim for negligence, hire a solicitor and prepare your case thoroughly, because it will be difficult to prove in court.

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