Surgical mistakes are errors made by doctors and health care professionals that go above and beyond the inherent risks of surgery. Doctors have a responsibility to explain all of the basic risks of surgery to their patients, allowing patients to make an informed decision. Surgical mistakes fall outside of the patient’s ability to choose, are preventable, and can end in tragedy. Common surgical mistakes include:
- Unsanitary conditions
- Anesthesia errors
- Items left inside patient’s body, such as gauze, sponges, or medical instruments
- Operating on the wrong side of the body
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Removing the wrong organ
- Amputating the wrong limb
- Nicking or cutting of nerves, arteries, organs, or muscle which should not have been involved in the surgery
- Failure to consider patient’s history when choosing to perform a procedure
Surgical mistakes can carry a wide range of short or long-term consequences and even death. An extended recovery time is almost always involved, and in most cases additional surgery is required to repair the damage from the original surgery. Results of surgical mistakes include:
- Excessive scarring
- Additional surgery or surgeries
- Extended recovery time
- Loss of limb or organ
- Brain damage
- Permanent disability
Surgical mistakes are preventable. There are many factors that can contribute to the cause of surgical mistakes, and there can be multiple responsible parties. It is estimated that 11% of surgical mistakes involve performing the wrong procedure, and 13% are actually operations performed on the wrong patient. Victims are often subject to long recovery periods and are not in a position to pursue legal action without the help of family members. It is important to get legal help quickly, before you run out of time to file your lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation to offset the expenses involved in recovery and to replace lost income.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of surgical mistakes contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.
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