Types of Surgical Errors
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Miami and all of Florida
Modern medicine has revolutionized the way surgery is performed, allowing patients to make what may have once been impossible or improbable recoveries. Although many surgeries today can be performed using minimally invasive techniques or advanced technologies that make for better prognoses and faster healing, there are still inherent risks with any surgical procedure – from minor outpatient procedures to the most serious major surgeries.
While there are expected risks in surgery, those risks can and should be appropriately managed with acceptable treatment, or minimized through the avoidance of negligence or substandard care. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
At Freidin Brown, P.A., our award-winning Florida trial lawyers have the experience and resources to handle challenging medical malpractice cases involving surgical errors that could and should have been prevented. If you or someone you love has been harmed due to medical negligence or mistakes committed during surgery, our legal team is available to help learn whether you may have a potential medical malpractice claim and how we can protect your rights.
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Before, During & After Surgery
Medical malpractice can occur in a number of ways anytime a patient is being treated by a medical professional, and during any phase of the surgical process:
- Pre-Surgery – Doctors who recommend a surgical procedure for their patients have an obligation to ensure they are fully apprised of the procedure, know what to expect, and understand what they should be doing to prepare. They and other health care providers also need to adequately prepare and plan for surgery, which can mean monitoring a patient’s condition, conducting evaluations to address any potential complications that may be exacerbated by surgery, and appropriately managing risks by meeting their “duty of care,” or the accepted standards of their profession and the particular procedure involved. For example, failing to identify when a patient is taking a certain medication or when they have a certain condition that would be considered risk factors for a particular procedure could result in preventable complications and injuries during surgery. Medical professionals who are negligent during pre-operative care may be held liable when their failures led to preventable harm.
- During Surgery – Statistics show that a majority of surgical errors (upwards of 75%) occur during surgery. There are many ways these surgical errors can occur, but they generally involve a health care provider’s negligence, substandard care, and failure to meet professional standards. When evaluating whether the conduct of medical professionals is substandard, the general rule is to assess whether a reasonably skilled medical professional under the same or similar circumstances would have acted otherwise in order to prevent patient harm.
- Post-Surgery – Post-operative care is vital to a patient’s health and recovery, as there are many risks related to infections and post-surgery complications. Negligence during this phase of the surgical process can have a tremendous adverse impact on patient safety, which is why there are many guidelines and standards to follow, whether surgery is performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Medical professionals also have an obligation to respond to any post-surgical complications appropriately so as to avoid preventable injuries.
Common Surgical Errors
Aside from the general risks that exist before, during, and after a surgery, and the general obligations of medical professionals during those phases of the surgical process, it is important to know what types of surgical errors are most common. These include:
- Anesthesia errors – Anesthesia errors can include using the wrong medication, dosage errors, failures to screen medical history and other medications, etc.
- Foreign objects left behind – This involves leaving surgical tools, pads, gauze, and other items in a patient’s body, which can cause pain, serious infections, and even death.
- Wrong-site surgery – Wrong-site surgeries are more common than most would think, and commonly include errors such as operating on the wrong body part, operating on the wrong side of the body (right v. left), and removing the wrong organ.
- Wrong patient surgery – These surgical mistakes generally result from administrative hospital errors and communication errors, and may lead to a patient undergoing a procedure that should have been performed on a different patient.
- Nerve damage – Negligent medical professionals may cause preventable harm during surgical procedures by damages nerves, which can result in long-term, if not life-long, physical limitations or disabilities.
Request a FREE Consultation with a Miami Medical Malpractice Attorney
Our medical malpractice team at Freidin Brown, P.A. has earned the respect of our clients, colleagues, and major legal organizations throughout the nation because we have proven our ability to succeed in even the most challenging and highly technical cases. This success is a product of our commitment to protecting the rights of injured patients and their families, and to our extensive resourced, professional connections, and trial experience – all of which are invaluable in cases as complex as those involving medical malpractice.
If you would like to learn more about our team, or discuss a potential case involving surgical errors or medical malpractice, our firm is ready and available 24/7 to help. Contact us for a FREE consultation. We serve clients throughout Florida.