Surgical errors account for many medical malpractice claims

As a resident of North Carolina, when you have to undergo a surgical procedure, you expect things to go normally and come out fine. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Surgical errors are common reasons behind medical malpractice claims. It’s important to know why this is the case.

What are the most common surgical errors?

When surgical errors occur, there could be grounds for the victim to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors and other health care practitioners have a duty of care to provide the same reasonable care as another professional in their role. However, when errors occur and the victim suffers harm, the doctor or other medical professional has breached their duty of care. The most common surgery errors include the following:

  • Surgery performed on the wrong site: This error occurs when surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body or organ.
  • Unnecessary surgery: While it’s a rarer surgical error, there may be times when the wrong patient receives an unnecessary surgery. A mixup of this caliber can have serious consequences.
  • Infection: Infections that occur from surgical instruments that are not clean can cause serious injuries. A patient can end up contracting a disease or can even become septic, which can be fatal.
  • Instrument left inside the body: A common surgery error is an instrument being left inside the body and the surgical site being closed up. Even with a seemingly benign object, a patient can suffer serious complications.
  • Internal organ or nerve damage: Surgery errors can lead to damage to internal organs or nerves, which can result in permanent injuries.

Why are surgical errors so common?

There are various reasons why surgical errors happen so often. All of the reasons for it give warrant for a patient filing a medical malpractice claim. The following are common reasons for these mistakes:

  • Fatigue: Surgeons work long hours, so it’s not unusual for them to become fatigued.
  • Incompetence: A doctor who is inexperienced can make mistakes due to incompetence.
  • Lack of preoperative planning: If a surgery is not effectively prepared ahead of time, it can lead to errors.
  • Negligence: If a doctor isn’t as careful as they are expected to be, it can result in negligence during surgery.
  • Intoxication: When a surgeon is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can easily make mistakes.
  • Poor communication: Not properly communicating among surgical staff can result in serious surgery errors.
  • Improper work process: If a surgeon makes a misstep during surgery, thinking they can bypass a certain step, it can cause harm to the patient.

Surgical errors can be devastating to patients. It’s important to take charge and fight back when you’re the victim of malpractice.

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