What Are The Surgical Errors That Lead To Medical Malpractice Cases?

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice

When you visit a doctor or a surgeon, you expect them to be as professional as possible and provide you the best care they can. When a doctor’s actions fall below an acceptable standard of care, that can mean severe consequences for their patients. Here is a short overview of surgical errors that can lead to a medical malpractice claim.

Common Surgical Errors

  • Wrong Site Surgery. No, this doesn’t mean the doctor shows up at the wrong building; it’s when a surgeon performs the surgery on the wrong part of the body or on the wrong organ. This type of error may result because someone recorded information in the patient’s chart incorrectly or the surgeon was distracted when performing the surgery. If you are scheduled to have surgery on a kidney and the doctor operates on your appendix, then they have made a major error!
  • Wrong Patient Surgery. Sometimes patient charts are mixed up due to careless error or chaotic circumstances. As a result, a patient may endure a surgical procedure meant for another person. This can lead to complications and unnecessary physical and emotional damages.
  • Nerve Damage. If a surgeon clips a nerve during surgery or makes an anesthesia mistake, the patient may suffer from nerve damage.
  • Organ or Tissue Damage. When a doctor is operating they may puncture or perforate a different organ from the one there were working on with a surgical tool. This can cause internal bleeding and damage delicate internal organs, which can have dire health consequences.
  • Foreign Objects. There have been cases where a careless surgeon fails to remove gauze or other materials from inside a patient that was used during the procedure. This may not be discovered until later when a major infection or toxic shock causes the patient serious problems.
  • Cross-Contamination. If a surgeon or a member of their operating team uses an unsanitary surgical instrument, this can lead to cross-contamination of disease or infection. This type of surgical mistake can be fatal if the patient’s immune system is already compromised. Other serious complications may arise when items are left in the patient’s body, such as a foreign object as mentioned above.

Reasons For Surgical Errors and Burden of Proof

There are a number of possible reasons that a surgeon may commit an error during a procedure. Sometimes, if a doctor hasn’t performed an operation very often and doesn’t have help, the surgical error is due to incompetence. Sometimes they are careless and not prepared properly for the surgery, lacking proper tools or facilities to serve the patient’s needs. If during the surgery or post-surgery the doctor does not communicate how to perform something during the surgery or fails to give post-care instructions, there can be health consequences for the patient. Lack of sleep and abuse of drugs or alcohol are both common reasons for surgical error.

If you think a surgical error is the cause of an injury, you will need to contact a medical malpractice attorney to help file your claim. To prove malpractice, you and your attorney will need to prove that the doctor’s actions fell below the proper “standard of care.” This standard is defined as the care that an ordinary and prudent health care provider would provide under similar circumstances with the same level of experience and training. Expert testimony and other evidence will be needed to prove this, so always consult an attorney!

Contact a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive medical malpractice attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Marrone Law Firm, LLC represent clients injured due to medical malpractice injuries in Philadelphia, University City, Center City and throughout PA. Call 215-732-6700 or fill out our online contact form us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 532 Marlton Pike West 2nd Floor, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 as well as offices at 200 South Broad Street, Suite 400 Philadelphia, PA 19102.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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