Surgeons are tasked with handling some of the most complex yet life-altering assignments in the world – operating on their patients. If everything goes well, a surgical procedure can help the patient recover, get back on their feet and enjoy quality life once more.
Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for a surgical procedure to end in a tragedy. If the surgeon fails to perform their duty with the level of diligence expected of them, they may be held liable through a medical malpractice claim. But what exactly are surgical errors and how do they happen?
Understanding surgical errors
These errors result from actions or events that could have been prevented were the surgeon and other support staff like anesthetists and nurses to follow appropriate protocols before, during and after the procedure.
Common examples of surgical errors include:
- Inappropriate or unnecessary procedures
- Retention of medical instruments
- Anesthesia mistakes like administering too much or too little anesthesia
- Pre- or post-operation mistakes that result in infections.
These and other mistakes can result in life-altering injuries or even death. Even if they do not, there is a possibility that the patient will need additional, and potentially costly medical procedures, to reverse the error.
So, how do surgical errors happen?
Like other personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims boil down to the theory of negligence. Thus, to litigate your case, you must show that the healthcare provider acted negligently and that this resulted in your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your case, here are some of the arguments you may present against the facility of the surgeon who caused your injuries:
- Incompetence – if the surgeon lacked the proper training or certification to operate on you
- Fatigue – if the doctor was overworked and tired at the time of operating on you
- Insufficient staffing – if the facility lacked enough support staff like nurses and anesthetists to monitor the patient before, during and after the surgery.
Surgeons, like everyone else, are not perfect, and the law understands this. However, if they act negligently while operating on you, you deserve justice. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may hold the surgeon or the facility liable for the resulting damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit.