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Common Surgical Errors That May Signal Medical Malpractice


Surgical errors in and of themselves are not necessarily predications for medical malpractice claims. However, they are the basis for medical malpractice when those errors fall below the standard medical of care and when they cause patient injury.

Surgeons and surgical staff are expected to be prepared, skilled and competent. But when they aren't, some wide-ranging, common errors can occur. The following are a sampling of the kind of errors that can occur when surgical staff fall below the medical standard of care:

Nerve Injury:

Severing or cutting a nerve during surgery is something that can occur for a number of reasons. Some of those are anticipated, some can be prepared for and are not. Nerve injury during a surgical procedure can cause permanent damage, and the cause should always be investigated as it could lead to the award of medical malpractice damages.

Medication Administration Errors:

Administering too much or too little medication can have incalculably adverse impact on the patient during surgery. Anesthesia errors can cause long term brain damage, and a host of other issues for the patient. When dosage is not properly communicated or when doctors or nurses prepare dosage based on a confusion over a patient's true condition or status, medical malpractice is certainly an avenue that should be pursued to redress damages that result.

Performing Incisions at the Wrong Location:

In a fast paced medical environment like an emergency room, making an incision in the wrong location can easily happen when miscommunication occurs. In fact, when this kind of confusion has occurred in a surgical environment, there is a risk of the wrong limb being amputated.

Leaving a Sponge or Surgical Device in the Patient:

We've all heard the stories of a surgeon that has left a sponge on a pair of clamps or another surgical device inside a patient before closing up. Poor communication, fatigue and impairment (whether due to lack of sleep or substance abuse), or simple inexperience can cause such a disastrous result, which is typically cause for a medical malpractice claim.

Operating on the Wrong Patient:

As crazy as it sounds, surgeons have begun or performed surgery on the wrong patient in the past. It is something that typically results from poor communication, improper charting and downright ineptitude.

When surgical errors do occur, it's vitally important that you first seek immediate medical treatment with a competent medical professional. It's also important that a skilled medical malpractice lawyer like those at Panio Law Offices be consulted at the outset. We are able to help build your claim through expert testimony, investigation of the circumstances surrounding the medical error and expert negotiation. We work hard to recover the highest damages for our clients.

Call us at (708) 928-8680 to speak with a personal injury attorney today. We can help.

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