Medical Malpractice: Understanding Surgical Errors

In medical malpractice cases, numerous problems can cause serious harm. One of the worst things that can happen is a surgical error. These types of mistakes often lead to long-term damages and conditions that worsen over time.

It’s essential to remember what types of errors can occur in surgery and who is responsible. When a doctor causes harm, the patient can seek compensation for the damages he or she sustains. Here are some of the vital factors of surgical errors that you should know.

What are the Different Types of Surgical Errors?

While surgical errors come in many forms, three main types often come up in medical malpractice lawsuits. The most common surgical errors are:

  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient: Doctors may perform surgery on the wrong patient because of miscommunication or misdiagnosis. Surgery on the wrong patient is common when doctors switch up medical records or misdiagnose a condition.
  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part: Another problem with misdiagnosis is the possibility of a doctor performing surgery on the wrong part of a patient’s body. This problem can also lead to issues such as internal organ damage, internal bleeding, and even paralysis.
  • Foreign objects left in a patient after surgery: Doctors use surgical instruments, sponges, gauze, and more during surgery. The doctors, hospital, and staff must ensure they remove these items from inside the patient upon the completion of the operation. Items left inside the patient can cause infections or organ damage.

Surgical errors can also exist when an anesthesiologist doesn’t supply enough anesthesia. The patient may feel the pain of the entire surgery in these instances.

Who is Responsible for Surgical Errors?

Liability is one of the most significant question marks regarding surgical errors. When a patient suffers injuries because of negligence, it’s crucial to recognize what factors lead to surgical errors and which parties are accountable. Knowing the line of responsibility can help those harmed pursue compensation.

  • The doctor(s): There are multiple situations in which a doctor may be liable for a surgical error. For instance, if the doctor misdiagnoses a patient and incorrectly performs surgery, the doctor holds fault. Similarly, if the surgeon leaves an item in a patient, they are responsible.
  • The hospital: Not everyone knows that hospitals may not have any liability in surgical errors. Hospitals are not always the doctor’s employer. The hospital may have a contract with the doctor; in which case, the facility may try to disassociate with the doctor. A lawyer can help determine the liability of a hospital
  • The staff: Staff members who assist in surgery (nurses and anesthesiologists) may hold some liability if they mess up in their responsibilities. Anesthesia errors and leaving objects inside a patient are two main ways the rest of the staff can be liable.

How can I Move Forward with Legal Action?

When you suffer an injury because of medical negligence, you have specific legal rights to pursue compensation for the damages. You can seek compensation for physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

It’s difficult to understand what legal action is available without the help of a legal professional. Hiring a medical malpractice attorney allows you to protect your rights from the large insurance companies who are looking out for their profits over the health of patients.

You can trust our team at Parker Alexander to guide you through the complex legal process with care and compassion. We’ll go through your medical records, explain what you can expect every step of the way, and represent you to the best of our abilities.

For a free consultation to discuss your potential legal options against a negligent medical professional, call our firm today at (318) 625-6262.

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