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Surgical errors that may constitute medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

When people have surgery, they trust medical professionals to help them toward recovery and improved health. Yet sometimes, things go wrong during an operation. These errors, which can range from minor blunders to severe missteps, can have devastating consequences for patients.

Any surgery comes with risks. Yet, if a surgeon’s actions fail to meet the expected standard of care, an adverse surgical outcome may lead to medical malpractice.

Types of surgical errors

Various surgical errors can occur, each potentially causing problematic health effects. Wrong-site surgery is one common error, where the procedure is performed on the incorrect part of the body. Giving too much or too little anesthesia can lead to complications. Additionally, leaving surgical instruments or foreign objects inside the patient’s body post-operation can cause infections and other health issues.

Contributing factors

Surgical errors can happen for multiple reasons, including:

  • Miscommunication among medical staff
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of proper training or experience
  • Inadequate preoperative planning.

Distractions in the operating room, equipment malfunctions and time pressures can also play a role. Surgical personnel must remain vigilant and follow protocols to avoid mistakes.

Lasting consequences

The consequences of surgical errors can be profound. Physical complications may require additional medical treatment, prolong recovery time or cause permanent disabilities. Patients may also suffer from anxiety and depression following their traumatic experience.


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