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Common Medical Malpractice Claims for Surgical Errors

Doctors, surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists aren’t perfect. Unfortunately, when they make mistakes, innocent patients pay the price. That’s why medical professionals must always be held accountable for their errors, whether intentional or neglectful in nature. As such, it’s helpful to understand some of the most common medical malpractice cases that arise due to surgical errors.

Items Left Inside the Patient

When surgery is complete, the doctor stitches up the patient to begin the recovery process. While this is a routine procedure, doctors and nurses must ensure no foreign objects are left inside the patient’s body before closing the incision. Examples of items that may neglectfully remain behind include sponges, needles, and surgical tools. When this happens, the risk of internal organ damage and infection increases.

Internal Organ Damage

Precision is of the utmost importance during surgery because the slightest slip-up can result in the surgeon puncturing a nearby organ. This critical error forces the patient to receive additional medical care, which may include further surgery, physical therapy, and a longer recovery time.

Failure to Diagnose and Treat Intraoperative Complications

Failing to recognize, diagnose, and address complications during surgery can lead to long-term injuries or even life-threatening damage. Internal bleeding, blood clots, and punctured organs are some intraoperative complications that may arise. Surgeons and nurses are responsible for mitigating the damage from these incidents to the best of their ability. Failure to do so could warrant a medical practice lawsuit.

Delayed Surgical Intervention

Waiting to perform a necessary surgery gives the condition time to worsen and possibly become life-threatening. Still, doctors and hospitals may postpone procedures due to scheduling conflicts or because “surgery should be a last resort.” Whatever the excuse, medical personnel should be held accountable for neglecting their patient’s health.

Prolonged Surgery

To avoid booking the surgical suite multiple times, a surgeon may prolong a procedure to accomplish more at once. However, making a surgery last longer than necessary increases the risk of infection and other complications.

Post-Operative Infections

Operating areas, surgical tools, and the personnel involved in the surgery should be sterile. Without the proper precautions, bacteria could spread into the patient’s surgical incision, causing infections and the long-term problems associated with them. In some cases, infections may be severe enough to warrant additional medical procedures, amputations, and other drastic measures.

This is not a comprehensive list of surgical errors that denote medical malpractice. Other examples include:

  • Incorrect incisions
  • Surgery at the wrong site
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Anesthesiology errors
  • Nerve damage
  • And more

If you are the victim of surgical errors, you have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC to speak with a medical malpractice attorney in New Jersey specializing in surgical error claims. We have represented injured patients since our founding in 1950. Call us at 862-263-0770 or contact us online today to schedule your free, one-hour consultation. A Spanish translator is available upon request.

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
  • In 2021, a year in which New Jersey courts were basically closed for trials, our firm still settled almost 100 cases for in excess of nine million dollars. Furthermore, our average settlement—for the first time in the firm’s 70+ year history—exceeded $100,000.00. In the last ten years, the firm’s clients have recovered over 100 million dollars.
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  • Results may vary depeding on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
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