When Are Surgical Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

Accidents happen, even in the operating room among practiced, knowledgeable surgeons. In order for these accidents to be considered medical malpractice, however, negligence must be proven. Failure to follow an appropriate standard of care—leading to injury and significant damages—may qualify as negligence. 

when surgical errors malpractice

Common Surgical Errors 

Any deviation from accepted ethical standards can result in medical malpractice. Some claims happen more frequently than others. The following are the most common types of medical malpractice claims: 

  • Operations on the wrong patient
  • Nerve damage 
  • Surgery on the wrong site 
  • Equipment left inside the patient
  • Erroneous anesthesia distribution

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Medical errors account for nearly 250,000 deaths a year. The Journal of Patient Safety claims that this number could be as high as 450,000 per year. 

What Causes Surgical Errors? 

Several factors can impact the likelihood of surgical errors. These factors can include fatigue and substance abuse. Incompetence, neglect, poor communication, and botched pre-op planning can also result in problems. If errors can be proven to be malpractice, the victim or the victim’s family may be entitled to financial compensation. 

What Constitutes Malpractice? 

For an error to be considered medical malpractice, certain conditions need to be present. Among the most important is a violation of the standard of care. Standard of care is characterized by medical treatment acceptably administered by a prudent healthcare provider. 

Patients have the right to expect treatment delivered according to the standard of care. If it can be determined that patient care was below this standard, it will help to prove malpractice. 

Another characteristic that should be present in a malpractice case is evidence that the error was caused by negligence. Negligence is crucial to malpractice cases—if it cannot be proven, then the case is unlikely to succeed. 

These types of cases are also typically very expensive to pursue. A medical malpractice case is viable if the injury results in significant damages. This includes pain, suffering, hardship, major past and future medical bills, disability, and loss of income. Do you think that you may have a case of medical malpractice? Our experienced attorneys at Harrell & Harrell, P.A. will fight on your behalf to help you win the compensation you deserve. To get started, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys online or call 251-1111.

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