The overwhelming majority of surgeons, anesthesiologists, perioperative nurses and other operating room staff perform their duties with care and professionalism, but it only takes one instance of medical malpractice to cause a serious and life-changing injury.
Surgical errors come in many forms. Some of the most common errors that cause injuries in the operating room include:
- Nicks and cuts to organs, arteries and other internal body parts
- Leaving scalpels, gauzes, sponges and other instruments behind inside the patient’s body
- Wrong-site surgery
- Anesthesia errors, whether too much, too little or the wrong kind of anesthesia agent
- Untreated infections
Medical errors can take place before, during and after surgery, and often leave patients with severe complications that may require more medical treatment. In some cases, surgical errors prove fatal. When such an injury is the direct result of medical negligence, victims and their family members should be aware of their legal options.
A medical malpractice lawsuit can help victims obtain compensation for damages such as wage loss, additional medical bills, pain and suffering and other hardships, but not all surgical errors are the result of medical malpractice.
When is an error malpractice?
Everyone makes mistakes, and surgeons and operating room staff are no exception. But when a mistake falls below an accepted standard of care it is a case of medical negligence, and legally actionable. In medical malpractice trials, plaintiffs’ attorneys often call upon medical experts to testify that a standard of care was breached and that a reasonable medical professional would classify the treatment in question as subpar. These cases are complex and typically require more resources and deeper investigations than a standard personal injury case.
If a surgical error or any type of medical negligence has caused you harm, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can navigate these complex issues and help you understand your rights and options.