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Medical Malpractice: Preventable Mistakes During Surgery

Medical Malpractice: Preventable Mistakes During Surgery

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 4-Oct-2017

If you are having surgery done, the expectation is that the procedure will be done successfully by your doctor and their team. However, this is not always the case. While no one wants to hear that an error occurred during the process, it can happen. And in these instances, it can be easy to call it medical malpractice. The problem is that it is complicated to determine what is considered medical malpractice and what isn’t. This guide will explain what the term means and how a California medical malpractice lawyer can assist you.

Defining Medical Malpractice

By definition, medical malpractice is considered when a treatment, whether resulting in surgery or not, falls below a set standard of medical care and the procedure causes harm towards the patient. If one of these does not happen, it cannot be deemed a malpractice case. As for the care standard, it is defined as the level and type of care that a typical health care professional offers within similar circumstances through any community.

The Role Of Surgical Errors

Surgical error is a preventable mistake that occurs during a surgical procedure. With most surgeries containing some element of risk, it is why many hospitals ask for informed consent, where a form is signed indicating the patient is aware that issues can potentially arise.

With most surgical error cases, establishing it as the basis for a lawsuit can be simple. The main factor for this is the reasoning that an error occurred. These include the following:

  • Incompetence From The Surgeon: While it can sound unlikely, there are times when a doctor assigned to perform a surgery does not have the skill set required to complete it successfully.

  • Lack Of Preoperative Planning: For surgical operations, one of the primary goals of the person doing the procedure is that they are fully prepared to do the surgery. Whether it is having nurses and assistants making sure all equipment is on hand to be used or the doctor reviewing any potential complications and knowing what to do, all advanced items must be handled before surgery.

  • Incomplete Processes: Where a surgeon decided to take shortcuts and eliminate any steps needed during surgery.

  • Lack of Communication: Major complications can arise if details of the surgical procedure are not properly communicated. This includes having the wrong location for the surgery or not having all equipment needed. There can also be errors on both the type and amount of medication for the patient.

  • Fatigue: With doctors and surgeons having long shifts, it can be common to be tired during work. However, this can lead to mistakes, which are more common among fatigued people.

  • Use Of Drugs/Alcohol: The medical profession can be stressful, and there are times where a surgeon can use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Much like many of the other errors listed, it can be surprising to know it happens, but it does.

  • Neglect: This results from either not having sterilized surgical instruments of use of defective items, among other issues.

Other examples of surgical errors include leaving instruments inside the patient, doing an operation on the wrong person and nerve injuries resulting from a procedure.

Medical Malpractice and Lawyers

Having a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice issues can help you determine not only if there is an issue that arises during surgery, but if it falls within the standards needed to have a case. At the Dunnion Law Firm, our California medical malpractice lawyers have 40 years handling cases throughout the region. Contact us today to set up a consultation by calling 800-U-NEED-US or visit us online.