When a Surgical Error Can Be Considered Medical MalpracticeNew Jersey Legal News
Surgery can be a scary time in your life, especially when you are having a major procedure done. Doctors say that there isn’t really a thing as “minor” surgeries and even the slightest operation should always be taken as seriously as possible. When an error during the surgery process takes place, you might be concerned that you fell victim to medical malpractice. Though not every surgical error constitutes negligence, some cases do. Because of these cases, we want you to know that you have many rights.
You are afforded the highest standard of care by somebody in the medical profession when you are set to receive surgery, emergency or otherwise. Of course, the standard of “medical care” can vary from place to place. Unfortunately, in too many cases that happen every year across New Jersey, people will be seriously injured or will lose their life at the hands of a medical professional who failed to uphold a certain level of care to you or your loved one.
Of course, by understanding medical malpractice, we can get a better idea of how it occurs in surgical settings every year. One thing that should be noted is that, if a surgical error has occurred, this does not automatically mean that somebody should and can be sued for medical malpractice. A medical standard of care must have been set and you must have received some type of sub-standard treatment. If you were harmed because somebody was not acting within their duty of care, you have the right to bring a claim for compensation you deserve.
This is medical malpractice in a nutshell. In surgical error cases, which are large claims that are treated seriously due to how quickly something can go wrong, it is quite simple to show how your surgeon’s treatment fell below the standard of care. Today we want to take a closer look at various types of surgical errors and how they occur.
Causes of Common Surgical Errors
Certain standards must be met when it comes to surgical procedures, which are noted as the most serious types of procedures in hospitals. There are many types of reasons why negligent surgical errors occur, such as the following:
Adverse Planning: Preoperative planning is one of the most important aspects of any surgery, in order to ensure that no adverse or unexpected complications arise during the actual surgery. Medical staff are supposed to plan for the surgery from all angles, including a complete medical history, notes on any medications, and risks that could occur throughout the surgery process.
Miscommunication: When miscommunication takes place in the operating room, disaster can strike. When parties do not work together, they might incorrectly mark the wrong site for surgery, which could cause them to operate on the wrong body part. They might misread how much of a prescription somebody should take, which could lead to a fatal overdose or reaction. They might not pay close attention to the procedure, which could lead to them leaving their surgical equipment inside the patient’s body. Many aspects must be accounted for and, when they are forgotten, it can lead to severe results.
Doctor’s Fatigue: Surgeons and other physicians and nurses work for long hours in operating rooms, which means that they might become quite sleepy. They might not be able to think properly after all of those hours with no sleep. There are some doctors who are also known for taking drugs or becoming intoxicated so that they could stay awake when performing surgery. This could cloud their judgment, making a successful surgery impossible.
Incompetent Training: Surgeons undergo many years of training so that they are properly skilled for the job. If their training was not to an acceptable standard or a surgeon lied about their training, there is the possibility that you could be negatively impacted by this negligence. You want to ensure that your surgeon has the skills necessary to complete the job at hand and help you on the path to recovery.
If you believe that one of these types of surgical errors took place, you should always speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Medical staff are supposed to do what it takes to ensure that your health and wellbeing are always the top priority. If the care was below standard, you have a right to compensation.
Common Surgical Errors
Patients end up injured or killed due to these common surgical errors that happen every year on the operating table:
Operation on the Wrong Site: When a surgeon operates on the wrong body part, this is considered a “wrong site” surgery error and can happen when miscommunication occurs. In the vast amount of cases, incorrect information might be recorded or the surgeon might be distracted at the time of the surgery.
Nerve Damage: It is not unheard of for a surgeon to clip a nerve during surgery, which could easily lead to nerve damage.
Punctured Organ: An organ could be perforated or punctured during surgery when a surgeon is not paying close attention to what they are doing. Organ tissue can easily be damaged because it is extremely delicate in nature. This could lead to organ failure in the worst of cases.
Foreign Objects in Patient: In some cases, a surgeon might not be thinking about their surgical equipment and they will close up a surgical location, completely forgetting that the item was left inside. Usually, these errors are found later when the patient experiences a wide array of complications and has to receive surgery in that same location to remove the item.
Bringing Your Medical Malpractice Claim
If a surgeon or another healthcare professional fell below the standard duty of care at the time of your surgery and you suspect that medical malpractice is at play, you might have a claim. These cases are extremely severe as they can be life-threatening in nature, which is why it might be time to speak with an attorney. At Brady, Brady & Reilly, our experienced personal injury attorneys are here when surgical errors lead to medical malpractice claims. We have helped many clients work toward results and are willing to stand by your side every step of the way. Please contact us to find out how we can help in your time of need at (201) 997-0030.