How Surgical Errors Lead To Medical Malpractice
Throughout life nearly all will enlist the services of a physician, but what about a surgeon? Not everyone will need a surgical procedure, but for those of us who do, it can be a frightening and intimidating experience, especially when dealing with a physician other than your own. When it comes to surgeons, patients must trust the abilities and judgment of a potentially unknown medical professional. The acceptance of this blind faith is implicit, but should it be? The patient is, in reality, placing their health, recovery, and ultimately, their life in the surgeon’s hands.
Surgeons, like all physicians, receive specialized training and are very well educated (at least we hope), but they’re definitely not infallible. The simple fact is, they’re still only human and are bound to make mistakes. Whether fatigue, inexperience, rushed decision-making, poor communication, lack of attentiveness, or simply a human error are to blame, surgeons can and will make surgical errors that harm their patients.
There are countless instances of documented cases of substandard procedures and botched surgeries, but what exactly qualifies as a surgical error? Surgical errors occur when a surgical professional makes a preventable mistake, injuring or killing a patient during surgery.
Risk is central and applicable to nearly all surgeries. Physicians are compelled to inform patients of possible negative outcomes and patients must understand these risks before agreeing to the procedure. Surgical errors fall outside the scope of known risks and can lead to surgical malpractice.
Surgical malpractice may occur when a surgeon’s actions, or failure to act, violate an established medical standard of care. Some of the most common surgical errors that lead to malpractice are:
- Wrong site
- Wrong patient
- Incorrect procedure
- Instruments left inside of patient
- Incorrect incisions
- Anesthesia complications
- Internal organ or nerve damage
If you feel you’ve fallen victim to surgical malpractice, seek counsel beyond the assurances of your surgeon. Likewise, hospital investigations can be biased, and may not take all relevant information into account.
If you’ve experienced an injury, incurred significant expenses, or suffered a major loss due to a surgical error, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Further, if a loved one died during a surgical procedure, or if you became sick after a procedure, you may have grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. You should speak to the medical malpractice attorneys at The Cochran Firm of the Mid-South; they can tell you if you have a case. Remember, the statute of limitations begins at the moment of the injury, so you need to act quickly.