On the Table: Medical Malpractice related to Surgical Errors
Navigating the implications, let alone tangible occurrences of surgical errors that could warrant a medical malpractice case, can be a complex underpinning, requiring knowledge and experience to piece together proper and accurate investigations. As we’ve already discussed in previous entries, a case may be applicable when a patient’s treatment falls below the standard of care, when compared to other surgeons in the same area, and is harmed. These are a few examples of doctor errors that could be grounds for a medical malpractice case in Buffalo NY.
A wrong-site surgery occurs when a surgeon performs an operation on a patient’s wrong part of the body or organ. It can result due to inaccurate documentation in a patient’s chart, or even distraction during the procedure.
Damage to Nerve(s)
If a surgeon mistakenly affects a nerve, or makes an anesthesia-related error, a patient may suffer permanent nerve damage.
Organ or Tissue Damage
Another issue that could warrant medical malpractice investigation is when a surgeon makes an error by puncturing an adjacent or neighboring organ other than the focus of the operation — this may include sensitive organ tissue.
An incision error happens when a surgeon uses a scalpel on the wrong part of a patient’s body.
In some cases, surgeons have been held liable for inadvertently leaving an item inside a patient’s incision, before closing the surgical site. These types of errors may not be discovered until a later point, when a patient begins to experience complications — many times requiring a second procedure for removal.
If a surgeon or a member of the surgical team uses an unsanitary instrument, it can lead to cross-contamination of a disease or infection. This type of error can be fatal, especially if a patient’s immune system is compromised.
The cause for surgical errors can run the gamut, and underlying causes can include incompetence, neglect, inadequate planning, lack of communication, fatigue or even substance abuse. It’s important to understand that when you face complications due to surgery, you may be entitled to compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit.