To simply state, a surgical error can be defined as a mistake occurring during a surgical procedure that could have been preventable. It is important to note that every single surgery will involve some form of risk. Due to this, having patients sign an informed consent form before any surgical procedure has become common practice. This form will generally outline potential known risks concerning the surgery procedure. While surgical errors could involve known risks, they can also be unexpected. This article will give an overview on surgical error, when it has not occurred based on known risks.
Increasing the Risks of Surgical Error
Without a doubt, surgical errors could happen to anyone, in any surgical procedure. While there can be a standard procedure for a surgery, no two surgeries will be alike. For this reason, it is important to understand that every surgical error will be unique, which will depend on the details behind every procedure. The following is a limited list of some of the most common causes behind surgical errors:
- Ineptitude – A surgeon could have inexperience in the surgical procedure, which could lead to a patient’s injuries. The surgeon may not have the necessary skills to be able to successfully complete a surgery.
- Inadequate Preoperative Preparation – It is essential that surgeons be well prepared for every surgery. In order to prepare, surgeons will have to review and/or prepare for all common complications that could arise in the surgery. This could also include preparation from other involved medical staff such as nurses.
- Inadequate Procedure – A surgeon may find that it is more convenient to avoid certain steps during the medical procedure. Cutting corners during a surgery could have devastating consequences that could lead to a patient’s physical trauma.
- Lack of Communication – When a surgical team fails to communicate properly, this can lead to numerous errors. For instance, the failure to communicate proper dosage could be detrimental and could have serious consequences.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is very common in medical settings. Almost every medical personnel will work long hours and this will easily cause fatigue. Medical staff that is tired is more likely to make a mistake than one who is well rested.
- Drugs and/or Alcohol – Many medical staff can turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to deal with work-related stress. While shocking, there are medical personnel who enter into a surgery while being intoxicated or under the influence of an illicit substance.
- Negligence – Surgeons can also be guilty of being careless. In comparison to other surgeons who are in the same type of practice, a surgeon could be found negligent if he or she failed to respond to a situation as another surgeon would.
Common Examples of Surgical Errors
Although surgical error can be very different from one another, many will be labeled under the same category. The following is a list of some of the most common surgical errors:
- Injury to a nerve
- Administering a patient with the incorrect dosage of a medication
- Performing a medical incision on the incorrect location
- Leaving medical equipment inside a patient
- Performing an operation on the wrong person
The Benefits of Obtaining Legal Representation
If you have reason to believe that you have been injured because you went through a surgery, you should consider speaking to a qualified attorney. With the help and guidance of an attorney, you could understand if you have a valid case. In the event that you do and decide on proceeding forward with the claim, a qualified attorney will help you file the claim considering medical malpractice time limitations.
Attorney Richard Rohde is greatly experienced in the field of medical malpractice. He understands what is needed to pursue a medical malpractice claim related to surgical errors and knows what type of evidence is needed. Rohde Law Office, APC can provide the assistance needed to successfully win a medical malpractice claim.