Common Surgical Errors

Going under the knife can make anyone nervous. Adding the possibility of surgical error in the process can compound matters. Though medical experts operate under a specific standard of care when treating patients, mistakes do happen. Not all surgical mistakes warrant a medical malpractice suit, but awareness of common surgical mishaps can allow the patient to ask the right questions when considering surgeons and the benefit of a surgical procedure. It can also allow the patient to know what to do when a surgical error occurs.

What Constitutes a Surgical Error?

All treatments, procedures and surgeries pose certain risks. Doctors and surgeons review the risks of the treatment or surgery with patients before performing the procedure. Once patients have all the information and can weigh the risks and benefits of surgery, they can give informed consent to proceed with the treatment.

Surgical errors are an unexpected medical complication caused during the surgery. Error can result from inadequate surgical preparations, lack of surgical skill or poor judgment in surgical execution. The seriousness of the error depends on the degree of harm to the patient and the reason the error occurred. Serious malpractice could occur if:

  • The surgeon is sleep-deprived while performing surgery.
  • The surgeon is under the influence of drugs or alcohol while performing surgery.
  • Surgical short-cuts or improper techniques result in negligence.
  • Contaminated or defective instruments are used during surgery.
  • The medical team fails to communicate critical details concerning patient health.

Common Surgical Errors

The potential for surgical errors depends on the type of surgery, the skill level of the surgeon, the accuracy of patient records and other applicable variables. All surgeries do carry potential risks, but most errors could be prevented under more careful monitoring. Research suggests that the number of reported incidents of surgical error is much smaller than the actual number. Some incidents go unreported simply because the error was not discovered until the patient experienced complications later, such as from a surgical tool left in the body. Common errors include:

  • Performing a procedure on the wrong patient or area of the body
  • Failure to remove any surgical tools from the surgery site
  • Inflicting unnecessary nerve damage
  • Administering the wrong dosage of medications, such as anesthesia

When a Surgical Error Qualifies as Medical Negligence

If surgery is recommended to treat a medical condition, and medical negligence results in physical injury or death to the patient, a consultation with a legal expert is needed. Medical malpractice suits tend to be complicated and require the attention of a knowledgeable lawyer. An attorney can indicate what the case may need in terms of proof or the best course of action to take. Contact Indianapolis personal injury attorneys with the experience necessary to handle a malpractice case. The attorneys at Jacobs Law LLC work hard to lend the level of expertise needed to ascertain the gravity of individual cases. Every patient has different circumstances, and professionals at Jacobs Law LLC are ready to help stand up for your rights. Call today or fill out one of our contact forms and we will get back with you.