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Surgical Errors

Each year, thousands of preventable mistakes happen in the surgery room. In some cases, these surgical errors result in medical malpractice suits. However, in other instances, patients are not initially aware of how severe the effects of surgical errors are and decide against pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Unfortunately, many surgical errors are preventable and are the types of things that should never happen like performing an incorrect surgery or leaving a sponge inside a patient’s body. Surgical procedures are serious medical events. Even a minor surgery can lead to significant, potentially life-threatening complications. If the negligence of a surgeon led to serious injury, medical condition, or preventable infection, you may have a case of surgical malpractice. It’s important to remember that the state of New York has strict laws regarding the amount of time you have to file a claim.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of surgical malpractice, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today to discuss your case and explore your options for compensations. We can help secure justice on your behalf.

Examples of Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are defined as preventable mistakes that occur during surgery. Despite being referred to as “never events” (as in “they should never happen”) thousands of surgical errors occur every year. The most common include:

  • Use of anesthesia when the patient is allergic
  • Incorrect anesthesia usage
  • Sealing surgical instruments inside a patient after a procedure
  • Infection as a result of doctor error
  • Amputation of the wrong limb
  • The wrong surgical procedure performed
  • Performing surgery that is not necessary
  • Not recognizing damaged vessels and/or organs before closing a patients body
  • Burns that come from the improper use of surgical instruments
  • Neglecting to use properly sanitized surgical instruments

Common Reasons for Surgical Malpractice

Surgical errors become medical malpractice when they are the result of negligence. Surgical malpractice can take many forms, but some of the most common reasons include incompetence, poor communication, drug and alcohol, improper work process, neglect. While many errors can occur during surgery, surgical errors can also happen if medical providers do not provide the appropriate care before and/or after the surgery occurs. Some examples of this include:

  • Neglecting to follow up with patients after surgery
  • Not preparing and advising patients of all risks associated with their surgery
  • Discharging a patient too early
  • Delayed surgery
  • Not obtaining the patient’s full medical history (allergies, past surgeries, etc.)
  • Lack of (or improper) communication between medical staff members

Surgeons, doctors and other medical care providers must adhere to an accepted standard of medical care. Standard of care is loosely defined as a level of care that an ordinary, prudent, health care professional with the same experience and training would provide under similar circumstances. If your surgeon provided sub-standard care AND that treatment resulted in harm to you, it is considered medical malpractice. In most cases involving surgical errors, it is relatively easy to establish that the level of care was substandard (as the surgical error is often obvious). However, proving that the error was a result of negligence is more difficult. This involves a full investigation, the help of medical experts and an understanding of the entire process.

Under New York State law, you have two and a half years from the date that the surgical error occurred to file a claim. However, if your surgeon left a foreign object in your body (such as a surgical instrument), you may only have one year from the date of the discovery of the object.

Contact Our Surgical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Though we are in an age of medical and technological advancement, surgical errors still happen at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, many physicians (as well as their staff) are often overworked and ake many decisions under much duress or fatigue. This can lead to bad decisions as well as negatively affected motor skills which can cause irreparable harm (sometimes lethal) during a surgical procedure. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured as a result of surgical malpractice, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. Our team of experienced lawyers is waiting to talk to you about your surgical malpractice case. Call today and schedule a free consultation.