When you or a loved one undergoes surgery, you put your complete trust in the surgeon’s hands. While the vast majority of surgical procedures go off without a hitch, sometimes errors can occur. But what constitutes a surgical error significant enough to trigger a medical malpractice case? Here are eight examples of surgical errors that could warrant contacting a medical malpractice attorney:
- Wrong site surgery: Imagine undergoing surgery only to discover that the surgeon operated on the wrong part of your body. Beyond the physical repercussions, the emotional trauma can be overwhelming. Such an error may necessitate further surgeries, elongated recovery times, and additional surgical risks the patient hadn’t anticipated.
- Mistaken patient surgery: In busy hospitals, mix-ups can happen. But when these mix-ups lead to operating on the wrong person, the ramifications are profound. This error not only exposes patients to surgeries they didn’t need but also deprives them of the actual procedure they were scheduled for, potentially worsening their health issues.
- Foreign objects left inside the body: The human body isn’t meant to house foreign objects, especially surgical tools. Yet, in some unfortunate cases, items like sponges or clamps may remain inside the patient after the surgery concludes. These oversights can cause complications ranging from infections to organ damage, often necessitating a follow-up surgery for removal.
- Unintended organ or nerve damage: The intricate nature of surgeries demands absolute precision, and slip-ups can lead to unintentional damage. Such errors—like accidentally perforating a nearby organ or severing a nerve—can lead to chronic pain, diminished organ function, or permanent disability.
- Misguided surgical actions: Medical histories and diagnoses guide surgeons. When a doctor performs an incorrect procedure or neglects to address diseased tissue, they may severely compromise the patient’s health. As a result, the patient may face prolonged illness or require further surgeries to correct the oversight.
- Complications from contamination: The cleanliness of a surgical environment is paramount. Any breach, such as using unsterilized equipment, can introduce infections. Patients are already vulnerable post-surgery, and contamination could complicate their recovery and pose additional health risks.
- Anesthesia mishaps: The purpose of anesthesia is to ensure painless procedures, but administering it is a delicate task. An over-dosage could cause brain damage and other complications, while under-dosage might result in a patient waking up during surgery, a traumatizing experience.
- Lack of proper pre-surgery screening: Every patient is unique, with specific health risks and concerns. Failing to perform comprehensive pre-surgery screenings can result in overlooking potential complications or allergies, which can become life-threatening during surgery.
Choose Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy, LLC
It’s a lot to take in. But amid the challenges and uncertainties of medical malpractice and surgical errors, one thing is certain: the team at Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy, LLC will stand by your side from the very beginning. You’ve already endured so much; allow our medical malpractice lawyers to bear the legal burdens so you can focus on your recovery and well-being. When you’re ready to discuss your case, please contact us at 862-263-0770 for a free, one-hour consultation at any of our five New Jersey locations.