When Surgical Errors Lead to Medical Negligence Claims

Surgical centers and hospitals are intended to be places of healing. Patients go to these medical facilities willingly to receive treatment for many medical conditions. Patients enter these facilities anticipating a surgical procedure that will provide them with relief. No one enters a surgical setting expecting to be a victim of surgical errors.

Sadly, such errors do occur. At times, these errors can lead to life-altering injuries for the patient. Even if a mistake only causes minor damages that may be corrected or treated eventually, medical negligence was still a factor. If a doctor has harmed you through a negligent surgical action, you are well-advised to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your rights to receive compensation.

Types Of Surgical Errors

An injury received under the care of a medical professional is referred to as medical malpractice. As for surgical negligence, six common types of damages are seen most often. These include:

  1. Wrong Site Surgery

A surgeon may perform surgery on the wrong site, such as the wrong knee, for example. This is blatant malpractice. Many stories circulate about people having the wrong surgery performed on them. Unfortunately, wrong-site surgeries occur surprisingly often. Surgical assistants or other medical professionals that help to prepare the patient for surgery may use the wrong medical charts or mark the wrong area.

  1. Organ Perforation

Organ perforation is a widespread surgical error. Torn, nicked, or perforated organs can lead to severe injuries. Injury to the vital organs can lead to substantial complications for a patient. Veins, arteries, and muscles may also be harmed in this manner. Many times, patients don’t know this has happened until complications arise after surgery.

  1. Wrong Patient Surgery

Wrong patient surgery is the least common type of surgical error. If patient charts become confused or mixed up, a patient may receive the wrong operation. This is becoming less common with ID bracelets and digital record-keeping.

  1. Surgical Equipment Left In a Patient

This issue was also more common in the past before digital record-keeping. Digital records work to ensure that all surgical instruments are present at the end of surgery. Most recent cases of things left within patients after an operation include cotton pads or similar disposables. 

  1. Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia is an essential part of being able to operate. Anesthesiologists require advanced training to administer and monitor anesthesia. Errors may include over-medicating, allowing the patient to wake too early, using the wrong medications, and not monitoring the patient correctly.

  1. Infections

Surgical infections can lead to severe and life-threatening effects for a patient that has recently had an operation. Hospitals, surgical centers, and all types of medical facilities must keep their facilities sanitary. Medical providers are expected to maintain safe interactions with patients by always washing their hands. 

Surgery, and all medical care, for that matter, comes with specific risks. If an operation doesn’t produce the desired results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that negligence has occurred. An injury must be sustained by the patient for the surgery to be considered medical malpractice.