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Florida Medical Malpractice Mistakes By Practice Area: Surgery


Medical malpractice comes in many forms, and the nature of the harm to a patient is closely related to the specialty area of the health care provider. Unfortunately, when the specialization is surgery, errors continue to occur at a high rate. According to the National Institutes of Health, at least 4,000 surgical errors occur every year in the U.S. Operating on the incorrect body party and conducting the wrong procedure are the most common types of mistakes. However, researchers noted an interesting correlation between errors and timing on surgery: Errors are more frequent before and after the surgical procedure rather than in the operating room.

Regardless of the specific errors and when they occur, mistakes by surgeons can lead to extreme patient harm. If you were hurt or lost a loved one, you may have rights through a medical malpractice action. A Miami surgical errors attorney can explain the details, but some background information on mistakes and prevention may be useful.

Three Key Time Periods for Surgical Errors

Mistakes by surgeons typically fall into two categories, the first of which is errors of omission for actions not taken. Errors of the commission happen when the physician takes the wrong action. When these mistakes occur at different phases of the surgical process, the ramifications may vary. The following examples are useful in understanding timing and surgical errors:

  1. Mistakes occurring before the procedure might be the surgeon’s lack of experience, an inaccurate diagnosis, or reliance upon incomplete medical records.
  2. When errors occur during surgery, they are often linked to an absence of standardized policies by the facility or communication failures among the surgeon and attending staff.
  3. Post-operative care is just as crucial, so it could be medical malpractice if the facility does not implement reliable protocols or staff fails to monitor the patient.

Surgical Error Prevention Protects Patients

The NIH article stresses that the most common mistakes in surgery can be minimized through better communication. Engaging patients and their families in the process early makes it more likely that surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other attending staff can catch a mistake before it occurs.

In addition, elimination of surgery mistakes depends upon knowing how they arise and where they are most likely to occur. Risk factors include:

  • Distraction, including physicians and OR staff using digital devices during a procedure
  • Understaffing
  • The perception that a surgeon’s actions or decisions should not be questioned
  • Multiple surgeons conducting multiple procedures as part of the same surgical treatment
  • Busy hospitals and ORs, which increases the pressure for surgeons to do their job quickly
  • Failure to conduct post-op checks, such as counting instruments and sponges

Discuss Your Options with Our Florida Surgery Errors Lawyers 

Surgical mistakes can lead to serious injuries, so it is reassuring to know that Florida medical malpractice laws protect your interests. For more information on your legal remedies, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers. We can advise you on the legal process after assessing your circumstances.


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